A Mother's Silent Killer | Documentary Idea
by Rocio Goodwin
(Peoria AZ USA)
Posted July 23, 2015: Every day in this world a woman finds out she is pregnant and waits the journey of life begins. But what starts off as a beautiful moment, quickly turns into tragedy for almost 3,000 young mothers each year.
Peripartum Cardiomyopathy is a rare but serious heart condition that occurs to many mothers each year, with the chances of heart failure.
Here is my story and documentary idea: 2 ½ years ago when I was 23 years old, I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I endured 9 very uncomfortable months, but by the time I was 35 weeks I was admitted to Banner Estrella hospital in Phoenix Arizona.
I would constantly complain of chest problems, but it was dismissed as normal due to my pregnancy. By the time I was 36 weeks I had preeclampsia, pneumonia and even gallstones. My OB suggested that we wait until 39 weeks of gestation to deliver my daughter but by 36 weeks 4 days I was transferred to the ICU due to low oxygen and really high blood pressure.
I begged to be induced sooner, I could feel myself getting weaker each day and I didn’t know if I would be able to survive.
Finally the next day it was ordered that I would have an emergency C-section because my daughter was in danger due to the preeclampsia.
Well my deliver was quick and I did fine for a couple of days and was even released but my baby had to stay in the nicu for her low birth weight.
A week later after my delivery, I walked back to the ER with absolutely no breath left in me, it turns out my pneumonia was getting worse. I was admitted back in and given IV fluids and medications but just 2 ½ after being there my body started to shut down, my oxygen, heart rate and blood pressure were beginning to plummet dramatically and no one not even the ER dr knew what was wrong.
Next thing I knew I couldn’t catch my breath and as I turned to look at the monitor my oxygen was down to 42%, blood pressure was at 189/119 and heart rate was 160. I remember begging the dr’s to help me, and the look on his face said it all…I knew I was dying, with my newborn on the other side all alone. The ER dr told me that the nurse will put me to sleep and intubate me but before that happed coded.
My lungs and heart gave out, for 8 whole minutes CPR was done to try and bring me back and by the grace of god I survived.
I was taken back up to the icu but was given a 35% chance of survival, and was diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy, and it seemed that the reason for my pneumonia was due to my heart not pumping efficiently and my main valves in my heart leaking and sucking it up like a sponge, I guess you can say I was drowning.
After being transferred to another hospital who had the best cardiologist, Banner Good Samaritan in phoenix Arizona. 3 days later I finally woke up and I slowly recovered. 4 days after my heart and pulmonary failure, I finally walked out of that hospital and was on my way to see my daughter.
But why didn’t any doctor catch my condition sooner or treat me before I even had heart failure. Well the answer is easy….because there isn’t enough information on this rare condition, and many new mothers die each year because they weren’t treated properly or on time. This time of awareness need to be acknowledged and more doctors need to be more properly trained to deal with patients who show signs of this horrible condition.
I’ve seen documentaries on people who suffer from heart attacks but never once have I seen anything on cardiomyopathy survivors. Please help me change that!!