Missouri doctors deliver baby after mother dies in crash

Image courtesy GoFundMe

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Missouri doctors managed to deliver a baby whose mother was killed in a crash on her way to a hospital to give birth.

Sarah Iler and the baby’s father, Matt Rider, were headed Wednesday from Cape Girardeau, where they lived, to a hospital in Poplar Bluff, a city about 60 miles southwest where she grew up, when his SUV was struck by a tractor trailer, the Southeast Missourian reported.

The collision pushed the SUV into the median, and Iler and Rider were ejected, Cape Girardeau police Sgt. Adam Glueck said Monday. Upon arriving at the scene, officers began performing CPR on Iler in an attempt to save her and the baby, but Iler was declared dead upon arrival at a Cape Girardeau hospital, he said.

Doctors, though, performed an emergency cesarean section and delivered her daughter, Maddyson.

The newborn, who weighed 4 pounds and 15 ounces and was full-term when she was born, was immediately put on a ventilator. She was able to come off of it on Friday.

Iler’s sister, Kasandra Iler, said Maddyson opened her eyes and grabbed a nurse’s finger. Still, doctors don’t yet know if she suffered brain damage due to lack of oxygen after her mother’s death, relatives said. A hospital spokeswoman would say only that the baby is in fair condition.

Matt Rider suffered extensive injuries but is recovering. He was flown to a St. Louis hospital with several broken bones. He has been upgraded from critical to fair condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Iler’s family has set up a GoFundMe.com account to raise $5,000 for her funeral expense. More than $6,000 had been raised as of Monday evening.

“She had her whole life ahead of her,” Iler’s mother, Patricia Knight, told the newspaper. “And now the baby has to grow up without her mother.”

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