AFE Survivor Christy

This is my AFE story that I would like to share with you. On November 29th 2004 my husband Nick and I packed our bags to head to the hospital to be induced the following morning. When we arrived there were no beds available. They told us to go eat and come back. So we did, we came back and still no beds. They instructed us to go home and they would call when a bed came available. I refused to leave that hospital, we live an hour away and we said we would hang out in the waiting room. Finally at some point that evening a room was open. We got all settled in and was ready for our angle to arrive. The following morning on November 30 the dr came in to start the pitocian. Progress was slow so they broke my water. Contractions began and I became a little irritable. My family and friends were told to give me some time to rest. My parents and friends went for a walk and nick went to the gift store.

As I laid in that bed I begin to feel as though I could not breathe, it felt like someone was chocking me! I pushed the call button for the nurse, I was telling them I could not breathe, moments passed and no one came so I pushed it again, and repeated telling them I could not breathe. Little did I know nothing was coming from my voice! The nurses decided to come and check on me. When they came in the room I was blue and had stopped breathing for about 2 minutes. They called for the dr and was going to performs an emergency c-section. While being raced to the OR nick was on his way back to the room and passed the dr and me being rushed to the OR. They told nick something was wrong and was getting the baby out! After Abigail Grace Shaw made her arrival in 11/30/04 at 10 lbs 15 oz, I started bleeding from every opening in my body, ears, nose, eyes, etc. I went into respiratory arrest. On December 1 a second surgery was performed at 11 pm to get rid if the blood inside my stomach. At midnight I crashed. My vital organs shut down, kidneys, liver and major organs stopped functioning and went into a coma. For 3 days I was paralyzed an hooked up to a respirator to help me stay alive. My family was told to take pictures of me and Abby because these would be the only pictures of me and her. ( I treasure those pictures and look at them so often ) So they did. At that same time I was on dialysis. At this time nick was told I may not survive and if I did I would have severe brain damage form the loss of blood, which totaled over 200 pints. I was also suffering from the same conditions found in stroke victims. After 2 weeks of medical intervention and the power of prayer and GOD touching me I was slowly getting better. I could not walk on my own and my min was not all there and I was very confused, but I was able to go home with my new little family. There I was depended on nick to do everything for me, putting me to bed, dressing me, changing bandages, etc. I was scheduled to go to cardinal hill rehab to undergo physical and occupational therapy. After 3 months I was able to return to work and live a “normal” life again. I still have no memory of Abby being born or the 2 weeks in the hospital. Memories are fuzzy when I came home. What happened to me was called an amniotic fluid embolism. This is a very rare and mysterious disease in which the amniotic fluid, fetal cells, hair or other debris enters the mothers blood stream via the placenta triggers an allergic reaction. Statistics show thy 86% of these women who suffer an AFE die with in the first hour of symptoms. A more higher percent of these women who do survive have permanent neurological impairment. The blood loses it’s ability to clot and the bleeding is almost impossible to stop. AFE can occur during it after delivery in an estimated 1-80,000 pregnancies. There is no evidence to indicate that survivors of AFE are at risk for AFE in future pregnancies, although the condition is considered to be unpredictable and unpreventible. After 5 years I praying to GOD about having another child, we decided to have another baby because I knew GOD was going to take care of me. However there was days that I had a hard time thinking the what ifs, but I knew that my GOD was going to take care of my family, and he did. On January 5, 2010 we welcomed a baby girl, Madison Clay Shaw! Our family was complete!

I want to take this time to thank everyone for the prayers that got me and my family through such a trying time in our life, thank you to all the people that came out to donate blood in my honor, thank you for all the visits, calls, good, and donations. I will never forget that! I thank GOD everyday for healing me and wrapping his arms around me and my family. May GOD bless you!