Colorado mother makes the ultimate sacrifice to save her unborn child

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COLORADO - A woman died shortly after giving birth to what doctors described as a 7 pound, 4 ounce miracle.

Declan Jay Bugal was born on Nov. 3 in what was supposed to be a routine c-section birth.

"None of us expected it to be this way. When you're scheduled for a routine c-section, it's supposed to be a happy, happy day," Declan's aunt, Maren Oates, said.

It was during labor that doctors discovered that Declan's mother, Karisa, had a rare and often deadly condition doctors call amniotic fluid embolism. It causes catastrophic shutdown of organs.

"Deep down, I knew it wasn't good but I wanted to keep faith...They came in and rushed her back to the delivery room and had to do an emergency c-section," Declan's father, Wes Bugal said.

"Knowing the grim prognosis of this, I think it's possible that we would have lost Declan," Karisa's doctor said.

As Declan's heart rate dipped, Karisa chose the best option for her son -- to go to surgery right away.

"Her other option would have been to decline that and stay awake for her surgery, but by the time we would have put in a spine or something, it's possible that Declan would not have made it," her doctor said.

Choosing to save her son, even though it could cost her life. The last decision Karisa Bugal ever made.

"And that was about the last time I saw her... That's the hard part, explaining to him his mom's gone giving birth to him, explain to both of them where their mom's at, when they ask where's mommy," Wes Bugal said.

"She came to the hospital to be a mom and she did what she was supposed to do," Oates, said.

Declan's family is now telling Karisa's story to honor her selfless decision. It's a story they will tell a thousand times.

"Hold on to what you have now, cuz you don't know when it's going to be taken from you," Wes Bugal father said.