Mother finds baby alive after infant spent 12 hours in hospital morgue

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- An Argentine newborn who survived nearly 12 hours in a coffin in a morgue after hospital workers gave her up for dead is showing a series of complications common among infants born three months premature.

The baby's mother, Analia Bouter, says she got a supportive call from President Cristina Fernandez Wednesday asking to see the baby once she's out of intensive care.

That may take some time.

Neonatology chief Diana Vesco at the Perrando hospital in Resistencia announced Thursday that the tiny baby was in critical condition, suffering from sepsis and other complications related to premature birth .

Vesco said the baby is on a ventilator and antibiotics, and has suffered convulsions along with signs of neurological damage.

The mother, who insisted on seeing the body of her premature daughter at the hospital morgue, discovered her child alive in a drawer in the morgue's refrigerated room, where the child had been for 12 hours.

"They put the coffin on top of a stretcher and we looked for a little crowbar to open it because it was nailed shut. It was nailed shut," said Fabian Veron, the baby's father.

"I put the crowbar in there and started prying. I took a breath and took the lid off. At that moment I saw a white cover over the baby. My wife saw the little body first and she touches her little hand. She then uncovers her face and that's when we hear the first cry."

The mother told Argentinian TV she thought she was hallucinating when she heard a whimper and saw signs of life. Doctors say the girl is now in good condition.

The mother says the infant was born three months prematurely and the hospital said she had died of unknown causes. The baby weighs less than two pounds.

Doctors said she had no vital signs when she was born. They said she was observed for a while and declared dead.

Health officials said they don't have an explanation for what happened, and they are investigating those involved in the incident.

The baby's parents named her Luz Milagros, which is Spanish for light and miracles.