(CBS NEWS) - A woman in Fresno, Calif., gave birth to healthy baby boy this week, despite being in a coma.
Melissa Carlton fell into the coma in March. Doctors were performing surgery to remove a benign tumor in her brain 10 weeks ago, when she had a seizure which damaged part of her brain. Her family wasn't sure if Carlton -- or the baby -- would survive. But they did.
She has been in the hospital ever since. On Thursday, doctors they delivered her son Nathaniel West by c-section. The baby weighed in at 5 pounds, 9 ounces.
Carlton is recovering but remains in a coma. Since the birth, her husband, Brian Lande, hasn't left his wife's side.
Little Nathaniel is bringing the family much-needed joy, and a few developments since the birth have also given them reason for optimism.
"She was making eye contact with the baby and that's fairly new," Carlton's father, John Farrell, told KPIX in San Francisco. "She grabbed Brian's cheek with her hand and she pulled his face down to her face and she gave him the first hug that he's had since this trauma."
The new mother is also able to nurse her baby with assistance.
Like any new dad, Lande is operating on no sleep in order to tend to his new son. But unlike other dads he is also keeping vigil over his wife.
"This is a story of joy and it's not lost on us that this is a story about Brian and his love," said Farrell as he began to cry. "He has taken care of our daughter in a way that parents can only hope for, and that's a credit for Melissa because Melissa chose him."