“They gave me a chance to mother my kids.”
I am so thankful to be alive. Without the Riley Maternal-Fetal Medicine team, I would not be here, and my four children would be growing up without a mom. They gave me a chance to mother my kids. I want people to know when they donate to support a program like this, they are giving entire families like mine the most priceless gift possible.
Our scary ordeal began after I gave birth to my son Sullivan on October 9, 2019. I experienced some unexplainable pain in my abdomen―pain that seemed to be more unbearable than childbirth itself. After several tests, the only explanation was air in my stomach and some pleural effusions on my lungs.
After I went home to begin life as a family of six, my pain was not getting much better and I was quite short of breath. After a follow-up chest x-ray I went to urgent care, then to the emergency room for a CT scan. I was admitted to the hospital eight days postpartum. I went through lots of tests, and doctors found a hematoma on my spleen, pleural effusion on my left lung with atelectasis.
By Monday, October 21, I was not getting better so I was transferred to IU Health Methodist Hospital. I was placed in the care of Riley Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist Anthony Shanks, M.D., and his team. We were given accommodations for myself, my husband and my 12-day-old son, Sullivan. Dr. Shanks and his team (which included Dr. Jeff Reinhardt, Dr. Katherine Miller, Dr. Frank Schubert and Dr. Michael Belmonte) explained that they saw several pockets of infection in my abdomen and believed they needed to be drained. They scheduled me for the procedure later that day.
After the procedure, I started to feel very weak and nauseated. It quickly turned worse and my vital signs became unstable. I became too critical and moved to the Intensive Care Unit. My hemoglobin had dropped below seven and they decided to start giving me blood. They ended up intubating me because my vital signs were very unstable. They placed a central line during this time as well. I was still losing blood despite getting blood at the same time. Things started to move quickly. From then on, I don't remember much except what has been told to me.
The doctor told me I had a very large upper and lower gastrointestinal bleed. I was in the ICU on a ventilator for a couple of days. I finally went home with a PICC line and two weeks of IV antibiotics on Thursday, October 31. On December 27, a CT scan revealed absolutely no infection, no hematoma on my spleen and no more pleural effusion. Praise Jesus!
Dr. Shanks and his team always made me feel at peace when they entered the room. Their warm smiles and kindness allowed me to remain faithful that I would be healed and home with my family. All of the doctors answered questions for my husband, family and friends (who are all nurses and probably had a million of them) and never made them feel like they were burdening them or taking too much of their time.
I owe my life to the Riley Maternal-Fetal Medicine team. Every donor who has supported this incredible team is also a hero to me and my family.
I am so thankful. So, so thankful.
Did you know? Riley has increased its team of lifesaving Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialists from two, to 10, thanks to donors. Learn more or contribute at BeTheHopeNOW.org.
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