August 03, 2005 08:00 AM

A pregnant woman pronounced brain dead after aggressive melanoma spread throughout her system gave birth to a baby girl on Tuesday, the woman’s brother-in-law said in a bittersweet statement.

Susan Torres, a 26-year-old researcher at the National Institutes of Health, suffered a stroke on May 7 and has been sustained on life support in order to give her fetus more time to develop.

There were no complications during delivery and the baby “is doing well,” Justin Torres informs the Associated Press. The baby, Susan Anne Catherine Torres, weighs 1 lb., 13 oz. and is 13 1/2 inches long, he said. A family announcement said the baby was born at 8:18 a.m. Tuesday.

The infant, delivered via C-section, is being monitored in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, according to the hospital and Justin Torres.

Susan’s husband, Jason Torres, quit his job to be by his wife’s side, and last month her fetus passed the 24th week of development – the earliest point at which doctors felt the baby would have a reasonable chance to survive, the brother-in-law tells AP.

A Web site set up to help raise money for the family’s mounting medical bills had received about $400,000 in donations from around the world as of two weeks ago, Justin Torres said. The family said it must pay tens of thousands of dollars each week that insurance does not cover.

A message on the site (susantorresfund.org) posted after the baby’s birth reads: “Thank you all for your care and support which has helped both families reach this wonderful day.

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