It is families like Maia’s that make me realize how incredibly blessed I am to have this job. Maia’s mom Guadalupe bravely shares her story as a guest blogger. What this family has endured I can not even begin to fathom. Thank you for trusting me with sharing your story. What a wonderful reminder that miracles still happen!
My husband and I were very excited the day we found out I was pregnant with our first child, Maia. The pregnancy was uneventful until the last trimester came rolling around. I remember feeling exhausted, swollen, and breathless. At the time, I thought my symptoms were normal and related to the pregnancy.
On Wednesday, June 27, 2018 my husband drove me to Mercy Gilbert Medical Center because I was experiencing chest pain and heart palpitations. I was 34 weeks pregnant with my daughter. During the intake evaluation, the nurse and doctors noticed my heart was racing at 208 beats per minute. The hospital staff immediately paged my OBGYN, he rushed to the hospital and performed an emergency c-section. My daughter was delivered safely and was transported to the NICU since she was born prematurely.
I survived three cardiac arrests that night: one during delivery and two more in the ICU. My dear husband observed as the doctors performed CPR determined to keep me alive. I was diagnosed with a heart condition called Peripartum Cardiomyopathy. My heart was severely damaged and the echocardiogram revealed a reduced ejection fraction of 10%. The odds were stacked against us.
The morning after my daughter’s delivery, the doctors decided to try ECMO life support in hopes of keeping me alive long enough to find a donor heart. I was transported to St. Joseph’s Medical Center for further treatment while my daughter stayed behind in the NICU of Mercy Gilbert.
On July 7, 2018 I was transported to Mayo Clinic for further observation and evaluation. During my time there, the doctors performed various tests and determined that my ejection fraction had improved significantly. ECMO treatment was working! On July 11, 2018 I was weaned off ECMO life support and my heart was holding strong.
My daughter and I were both discharged from our respective hospitals on July 16, 2018. I remember crying and feeling nervous on the drive home, I was finally going to get to meet my baby. I felt a sense of relief and joy the minute I held her in my arms. I thank God every day for giving me a second chance at life. I am thankful for having the opportunity to raise my daughter. Miracles do exist and we are living proof of it.