baby's hand holding on to parents thumb
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
January 4, 2024 ·  4 min read

Parents Say Goodbye to Their Baby and Turn off Life Support, He Starts Breathing Immediately

On February 18, 2022, Lisa Hough and her husband were experiencing what they thought would be the worst day of their lives. The doctors were informing them that there was nothing more they could do for their infant son. When the parents were ready, they would remove him from life support. From there, baby Karson would have mere minutes left of life. Then, something miraculous happened: Karson began breathing on his own. Karson continued to live. This is an incredible story.

Trying To Let Go

Lisa Hough and her husband’s baby boy were not doing well. He was in intensive care on a ventilator and things were not looking good. The doctors were doing everything they could, but both they and the parents knew the inevitable. There wasn’t anything more they could do for baby Karson. (1)

The moment came when Lisa and her husband had to make a decision that no parent should ever have to make. Under the guidance of the doctors, they knew that nothing more could be done. It was time to take little Karson off of life support. 

The doctors informed them that once they had removed their baby boy from intensive care and off of the ventilator, he would have very little time. Their estimate was about 10 minutes before he would pass away. He wasn’t able to breathe on his own, and 10 minutes was about the longest his tiny heart could go without oxygen. With that knowledge, they removed him from all the tubes and wires that were keeping him alive.

“While we weren’t ready to say goodbye to Karson, we had come to terms with the inevitable. We were given 10 minutes after withdrawing intensive care and the ventilator and told he would not breath on his own and to expect his heart to stop within those 10 minutes. At 3:00 PM today, he was removed from care.” Lisa wrote in her Facebook post.

The Miracle

This was one of the most devastating moments in the parents’ lives. They were not ready to say goodbye to their precious baby boy; they never would be. Unfortunately, they knew they were completely out of options.

That’s when something absolutely miraculous happened. When the doctors removed the ventilator, little Karson immediately began breathing on his own. His heart rate and oxygen both stabilized. Karson wasn’t dying, he was still going. Five hours later and their little boy was still chugging along.

Lisa Hough with Karson. Image Credit: Karson Jax Updates | Facebook

“here we are 5 hours later with this miracle baby that we were told would never breath, swallow, have gag reflexes, or even survive. He is breathing unassisted. He is gagging (coughing up secretions from the vent). He is swallowing. He is surviving. He even has slightly opened his eyes a couple times today.”

The doctors and the entire intensive care team had no explanation for it. They were just as shocked as Karson’s parents were. Every single test and the vital sign said that without the ventilator, baby Karson would die. Die, however, he didn’t. Of course, no one was sure if he would stay that way or for how long, but it was a little shred of hope in an otherwise very dark moment.

Read: Twin Sisters married Twin Brothers. Their Kids Are Technically Cousins But Genetically Brothers

10 Days Later

About 10 days later, Lisa updated her Facebook with yet more good news about her baby boy. The baby boy who was supposed to die after 10 minutes was still alive after 10 days. That, and he was continually improving. (2)

“Karson is officially off oxygen and is maintaining his saturation. He is now able to regulate and maintain his own body temperature and no longer requires thermoregulation. He was also transferred to a fancy new room and into a crib yesterday. He is now crying which is still music to our ears and is now successfully sucking his pacifier, which is great for oral stimulation but wears him out fairly quickly.” she wrote.

The parents were spending as much time as they could learning from the nurses about his medications and his care. They wanted to be ready for the time when, hopefully, they would be able to bring their baby boy home. He was on track to go home that coming weekend.

Finally Home

Finally, on March 1, they were able to bring their little son home. It was even nearly a full two days earlier than expected. His parents and grandparents were on-hand at the hospital overnight leading up to his release to learn everything about his care and how to work the various medical equipment that he still needed. (3)

“Every day I am brought to my knees and just when I think God is done, I am quickly reminded that he isn’t. I’m not sure what Karson’s life purpose is but you can bet I will devote the rest of my life helping him find it and will remind him everyday just how loved he is, how strangers became family, and how he gave hope to some that were lost. How God worked on him and through him.”

Congratulations to the entire family. We wish you a lifetime of happiness with your miracle baby.

Karson Jax Updates | Facebook

Keep Reading: Husband lost wife and newborn during child birth | Minutes later, both come back alive as miracle unfolds