A 24-year-old mother almost lost her life, along with her baby, after she suffered a stroke while 29 weeks pregnant.
Claire Winnett realized something was wrong during her pregnancy when her arm started shaking uncontrollably in September last year.
After the UK mom was rushed to the hospital, doctors told her she had developed a dangerous condition, preeclampsia, which triggered the bleeding on her brain, reported Mail Online. She was advised that she needed brain surgery in order to save her life.
But since Winnett was 29 weeks pregnant, doctors thought they would attempt to save her unborn baby before beginning the operation. The 24-year-old was then forced to deliver her daughter via emergency C-section the next day.
“The doctor said I could have died but before they could operate they wanted to save the baby,” Winnett told The Sun’s Fabulous Digital.
Baby Sienna weighed two pounds and four ounces after she was delivered. Meanwhile, new mom Winnett was rushed into surgery.
“They said we were both lucky to survive. It’s so rare for this to happen during pregnancy. We both could have died. I had no idea how serious it was until afterward,” Winnett said.
Following the surgery, Winnett was placed in a 10 day induced coma to recover. After waking up, she found herself paralyzed, unable to even hold her newborn.
But the strong mother slowly recovered. She was able to hold her daughter for the first time about two days after waking up from the coma and two months later they were able to go home.
“[I]t was all worth it to bring Sienna into the world,” Winnett said. “I don’t know what I’d do without her. If I’d have survived without her I’d have felt guilty. She is helping me to get stronger. I want to get better for her. I want to be able to play with my daughter.”
Although Winnett is recovering, she is still confined to a wheelchair and is required to wear a helmet to protect her head every time she leaves the house. She is also going through rehabilitative therapy to relearn how to move her muscles and walk, reported Mail Online.
“I’ve got no idea how long it will take before I can move properly or walk again,” Winnett told the news website. “I’ve only just been able to wiggle my toes again.”
“I had to completely retrain my brain and had to have therapy to teach my muscles how to move again.
“It’s been really difficult. I just want to be able to do the things I used to be able to do,” she added.
Winnett’s partner, Adam Jones, recalled how terrified he was not knowing whether the two closest people in his life would survive.
“It was absolutely horrible for me. I didn’t know what to think or how to feel,” Jones told Fabulous Digital.
“I was terrified. I honestly didn’t think Claire would make it. They told me she might not make it through the surgery.
“I was absolutely over the moon when I saw them both for the first time. I broke down when I saw Claire.”
Winnett told the news website that her daughter has been doing well also. She said, “Sienna was so tiny when she was born and we had a couple of scares along the way but she’s a normal, happy, and healthy child now.”
“You wouldn’t be able to tell she was premature,” she added.
Preeclampsia is a pregnancy condition, which usually occurs after 20 weeks, that affects at least five to eight percent of all pregnancies, and causes high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine, according to Preeclampsia Foundation. Other indications of the disorder include swelling, sudden weight gain, headaches, and changes in vision.
If the condition is left untreated, it could result in serious complications like liver or renal failure and could become fatal for both mother and baby, according to Mayo Clinic.
According to the foundation, this condition along with other hypertensive pregnancy disorders are a leading cause of death among expecting mothers and babies.
“By conservative estimates, these disorders are responsible for 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths each year,” the foundation said.