Pregnant woman’s heart completely stopped while delivering her premature newborn when she was 32 weeks pregnant forcing her to undergo several surgeries, explains how her newborn kept her alive

Parents-to-be were excited that they will become parents in a few weeks, but everything changed in a matter of hours in March when the pregnant woman suffered heart failure and was transferred to hospital to have her baby delivered because she was literally dying. The couple, who are now parents to a healthy newborn, overcame the critical situation and decided to share the story with the public explaining how delivering the baby actually helped the mother stay alive even though her heart completely stopped at one point while giving birth.

According to WCPO that reported about the story late last month, Veronica Williams was 32 weeks pregnant on March 9 when out of sudden she felt sick and was rushed to a local hospital. Per her claims, Veronica experienced shortness of breath and a rapid heart rate and as soon as she was admitted to hospital, doctors discovered that she had experienced heart inflammation. A form of myocarditis was the issue.

Veronica’s situation was critical and doctors at the Oh. based hospital performed an emergency C-section in the hopes of saving Veronica’s life. However, even they were not convinced that delivering the baby prematurely will save her so at one point they even asked Veronica’s husband, Sean, if they ‘should save the baby or the mother first’.

And for him, it gave rise to another unthinkable question: “Can I do this by myself?” His answer was no, so he told doctors and nurses to make decisions with his wife, Veronica, in mind first.

According to the doctors, Veronica’s whole muscle of the heart was completely weak from the inflammation. Her condition was so critical that at one point while giving birth, her heart completely stopped.

“This is one of those times that the hospital stood up, and took the opportunity to do what was best for mom and baby,” said Lindsay Calderon, cardiac surgery recovery nurse manager. “And that meant stepping out of our comfort zone. That meant doing things we’d never done.” In this case, they brought baby Brooklynn from the neonatal intensive care unit she had to go to because her young lungs needed help to her mother who was with the heart team.

Since doctors were not sure if Veronica will make it or not, they decided to bring the newborn and put the baby in Veronica’s hands. At the time, Veronica’s condition was so critical that doctors thought it might be the only chance the mother will have to hold the newborn in her hands. “I don’t remember it, but they did do that,” Veronica said to the station.

Just as doctors put the baby in her hand, Veronica’s condition and vital signs immediately improved. “And I don’t think there was a dry eye in the station,” one of the doctors said. “And getting to actually watch it, and be a part of it … was an amazing feeling.” “It’s amazing. Not something you could script, that’s for sure,” another added.

Veronica had to undergo multiple open-heart surgeries after giving birth, and doctors thought she had less than a 50% chance of surviving. But Veronica fought hard and underwent several-week-long treatment at the hospital. Last month, both the mother and the baby felt well enough and were sent home. Veronica will continue the therapy from home where they were finally reunited with her husband Sean.

“There’s still a lot to figure out and only time will tell what the best course of action will be but she feels more like herself being home,” Sean wrote on their GoFundMe page. “Celebrating Mother’s Day with Veronica and Brooklynn outside the confines of a hospital is something we will never take for granted. Thank you everyone who was involved in their care, to God who makes all things possible, and to an amazing support system!”

Cindy Carey


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