As legal battle rages over brain dead mother in Texas; baby born - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

As legal battle rages over brain dead mother in Texas; baby born to brain dead mother in Tri-Cities celebrates first birthday

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A brain dead woman, 22 weeks pregnant and on life support at a hospital in Texas is the focus of a story that's captured the attention of people across the nation.

But the story hits closer to the Tri-Cities than you might think.

News Channel 11 first brought you the story of baby Hope last May. Hope's mother was brain dead after overdosing on drugs after only a few weeks into her pregnancy. Now, Hope's family is preparing to celebrate her first birthday on Saturday.

"I'll be honest, I said this can't be. Maybe they've got the facts mixed up. I've been around babies and pregnancies my entire life and never have i heard a story like this ever," said Angie Odom, Hope's mother, recalling the news from a year ago.
After only 8 weeks of pregnancy, Hope's mother overdosed on drugs. She went 4 hours without the proper level of oxygen.

"They had to put her in a medical induced comma for the entire rest of the pregnancy," said Odom.
Odom is no stranger to helping pregnant women in need. She is the director of Abortion Alternatives in Elizabethton, Tennessee.  
With no one to raise Hope, she decided to adopt her.
"I remember uncovering her face and looking in that car seat and i was like this baby looks perfect!"
Now, on the eve of Hope's birthday, another family in Texas faces a similar choice.
"It's no coincidence that she's going to be one year old this Saturday and this type of story is in the headlines," said Odum.
2 months ago, Marlise Munoz suffered a pulmonary embolism in the middle of the night that left her brain dead. She was 14 weeks pregnant at the time.
She's now on life support at the John Peter Smith Hospital. Doctor's say they still hear a heartbeat.
Marlise's family wants her taken off life support, saying it would have been Marlise's wish.
"You reach a point where you wish your wife's body would stop," said Erik Munoz, Marlise's husband
The hospital refuses to unplug her because of state law. So Erik Munoz has filed a lawsuit.
"It looks grim but i have witnessed a miracle, and it's kind of like when you witness something as great as this, you can't keep it under your hat," said Odom.
Odum's wish  is for that miracle, little one year old Hope, to make a difference.
"You have to try to get the message to them. That's all i can do," said Odom.
It's a message she hopes can span thousands of miles and reach a family facing a difficult situation.
"I don't know a mom that wouldn't lay down their life for their child," said Odom.

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