I am here to share my daughter's story for 2 reasons, firstly to share my story of the very unexpected and tragic loss of my 29 year old pregnant daughter Cara to preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. Which stands for H-Hemolysis, EL-Elevated Liver, LP-Low Platelets. Secondly, in the hopes to help create awareness and education on this dangerous and potentially deadly illness due to pregnancy and that it may help save the lives of other young expecting mothers to be reading this.
Cara was 35 weeks along with her first pregnancy, she was a healthy young woman with no prior health issues. On Saturday evening September 30th, 2017 our lives changed for ever. Cara started to have upper abdomen pain (epigastric pain) that went on for some time, thinking it was just indigestion she went to lie down, the pain became increasingly more severe and she started vomiting. Her husband called their midwife and proceeded to explain what was happening, after many questions and unsureness and the fact she could hear how much pain Cara was in in the background, she told him they better go to the hospital just in case and get checked out. She had called Foothills Hospital in advance and told them her patient and herself were on their way there. They arrived at the hospital where they examined her, thinking it was maybe premature labor and trying to assess the situation of what may be happening. Meanwhile Cara was screaming in excrusiating pain, within minutes Cara had lost consciousness, they got her back, her blood pressure was thru the roof, minutes later she lost consciousness again and went into cardiac arrest, a code blue was called, 10-15 doctors and nurses started franctically working on her, they artificially resuscitated her as they rushed her into ER, they had 4 minutes to do an emergency C-section to save her baby. At this point she was in a coma and hooked up to life support machines. All this took place over 14 minutes of arriving to the hospital. Fourteen minutes......she didn't have a chance!
After 4 days in ICU, numerous neurologists, doctors, brain scans, MRI's, second and third opinions, it was determined that there was nothing they could do to save our baby girl. She had a severe liver bleed, many brain bleeds and the bleed in the stem of her brain was inoperable, she was brain dead!
We said goodbye to our beautiful daughter Cara, five days later on October 5th, 2017 with her family at her side. Cara’s cause of death was cardiorespiratory failure, secondary to a hemorrhagic stroke as a result of preeclampsia.
The shining light and joy in all of this, my granddaughter Blakely Cara, survived and was born October 1st at 4 lbs 9 oz, we were told she was a miracle baby, a gift as she should not have lived through this traumatic ordeal. She spent the first 12 days of her life in NICU. She is a healthy, happy, beautiful little girl, has a wonderful sense of humour, wise beyond her years and has her mother's spirit and soul.
Cara's Celebration of Life was held October 12th, 2017, the outpouring of love and support from far and wide to honor our Cara was one of the most touching, heartfelt celebrations of life that I have ever seen in my lifetime. A video tribute that reflected back from the beginning of her life which captured her true beauty inside and out, her beautiful smile that lit up a room, the true adventurous spirit who had a passion for travel. Surrounded always by family and friends were her favorite times, she loved her hot chicked wings and corona's, she was absolutely amazing, loving, a life taken way too soon. She lived life to the fullest and she loved unconditionally!
Please share this story! I cannot stress enough the importance of how we need to continue to come togther, to learn, to eduacte, to teach and to HELLP put a stop to senseless and unnecessary deaths of mothers and babies.