It was either her life or that of her unborn child. So she made the ultimate sacrifice.

Karisa Bugal’s last Facebook post read, “Only reason I would ever get up this early is for a baby!”

She left her house that morning to go to the hospital and give birth but never returned home.

Karisa Bugal was days away from her 35th birthday when she went into labour on November 4 this year. Doctors advised her during the labour that she had a rare condition that posed a great risk to herself and her child.

Doctors found an Amniotic Fluid Embolism, which meant the fluid surrounding her baby had escaped and was destroying her internal organs. The case was incredibly rare – 1 in 80,000 mothers experience this –  the survival rate, even rarer.


Karisa Bugal. Image via GoFundMe.


Karisa found herself faced with the worst decision imaginable – either have surgery to save herself, likely killing her baby in the process, or have a c-section which would probably result in her death.

Almost immediately, Karisa chose to deliver her baby. She knew the odds – a 20-86 per cent fatality rate – and she selflessly gave up her life for the life of her child.

Karisa lived long enough after the birth to ask the doctors one final question: “How big is he?”

Karisa with her daughter, Mallory. Image via Facebook. 

Her husband, Wes, knew of her decision but didn’t think they would lose her. He is now a single father to the baby, whom he named Declan, and the couple’s toddler, named Mallory.

“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,” Wes said.

A crowdfunding page has been set up in honour of Karisa, with over $50,000 already donated to the Bugal family.

To donate, click here.