TC is a completely different physiological event from a “heart attack” (myocardial infarction), even though the symptoms and outcome (heart failure) are identical. TC is unique in that it involves an abnormal movement of the interior heart wall of the left ventricular apex.
Here’s where the narrative gets more interesting.
More recently, science established that some of those cells are stem cells. They not only persist in the mother’s body for the rest of her life but, when the mother experiences a trauma, the stem cells from the baby also migrate to the area where help and healing are needed. There, those stem cells mature, integrating themselves into the mother’s tissue.
And here’s where the narrative gets very interesting.
In the latest discovery, researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City have found that mouse fetuses donate stem cells that repair their mother’s heart. In sum, the fetus promotes its own survival by protecting its mother’s heart.
Scientists are just starting to discover how this cellular heritage works, and how it might influence health.
Great! But, what might all of this mean theologically?
In her post “On Dying of a Broken Heart,” Ann Barnhart directed attention to the fact that the an unborn infant’s stem cells can heal its mother’s heart.
For those who are pro-life, Barnhart’s post raises two points for consideration:
- Mothers who have aborted their unborn infants continue to have those infants’ stem cells living in them. Those cells may provide a source of physical healing at some point later in life. That is, those mothers may owe their lives to their aborted infants.
- TC’s locus in the heart is the interior wall of the left ventricle at the apex (see the image above), namely, the heart’s the lower part—the “bottom” or the “depths” of the heart. The aborted infant’s stem cells continue to live in the depths of its mother’s heart for the remainder of her life. Perhaps those mothers may forget their aborted infants, but they cannot deny that their infants continue to live on in them.
Natural law—breathed into nature by God or by Nature’s Creator (as one doesn’t have to be a theist to be pro-life)—provides a cellular link between mother and infant where the infant’s stem cells have the potential to save its mother’s life. Potentially, the infant whom the mother had murdered is the human being who, in the end, could save her...even from a broken heart.
This is some pretty fascinating and terrifying (in German, Gefühl, meaning "awesome") stuff to contemplate.
Let the discussion begin…