Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The life and death story of Melanie Pritchard

When Melanie Pritchard was pregnant, she chose a pro-life hospital to go into to have her baby. That decision was a very important one.

While in hospital preparing for the birth, she signalled to a nurse that something was wrong. She felt she was going to pass out. Suddenly, she slumped to one side. Her husband, who was standing at the foot of the bed, saw her heart rate and blood pressure turn to zero on her monitors. Her skin turned blue. She was not breathing and had no heart rate. She had suffered a cardiac arrest  and was clinically dead.

She was rushed to the operating theatre. Her husband prayed: "God, I know this is more than I can handle, which means You have a plan and a purpose in this, and I trust You; but please, if it be Your will, allow me to hold my wife again." He had never felt more helpless and afraid in his life.

After the baby was delivered by caesarean section, doctors fought for an hour and a half to resuscitate the mother. She had been without oxygen or a pulse for approximately 10 minutes. After repeated use of a defibrillator and using CPR, they got a faint heartbeat.

Her husband went to see their new baby, not knowing whether his wife was alive or dead. As he wiped the tears from his eyes, a nurse asked him the baby's name. "Gabriella," he said, "heroine of God."

Family and friends arrived at the hospital and began to pray. They e-mailed, texted and tweeted people they knew and people they didn't to ask them to pray. A doctor said Melanie had probably had an amniotic fluid embolism, which was usually fatal. He did not expect her to survive and asked the family to say their goodbyes.

During the caesarean, doctors had accidentally cut an artery. They found five litres of fluid in her abdomen, and had to stuff the abdomen with towels to compress the bleeding. They had to leave the abdomen open, with the increased risk of infection. Melanie had two blood transfusions, and was going into DIC, a condition of erratic blood clotting.

Her heart was barely beating. Her lungs had failed, and a respirator was breathing for her. If she did survive, doctors thought she would be brain damaged. She was transferred, in an extremely critical condition, to another hospital which had an ECMO machine, which provides both blood flow and breathing.

She survived an operation to stitch up her abdomen. Then in the next 24 hours, she was weaned off all medication, except pain medication. She was breathing on her own.

Says Melanie: "Words cannot express my gratitude for the multitude of prayers that covered me throughout this traumatic event. I am happy to say the prayers worked! Thanks to the hands of doctors, nurses, many blood donors, and an ever-merciful God, Gabriella and I are alive and well and I have made a full recovery.

"It has been almost four years, and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank the Lord for allowing me to survive something very few live to talk about. . . God has the power to take us from the depths of darkness, even the darkness of death, and bring us into the light, and for that, I praise Him!"

You can read the full story here.

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