Woman who died twice during child birth shares last memory before heart flatlined

DAILY REPORT

A woman who nearly died while giving birth has shared her final memory before her heart flatlined.

Despite the advancements in modern medicine, childbirth still remains one of the most dangerous experiences the body can go due to a number of potentially fatal complications.

For British mum Keeley Wilson, 36, she would be left with life-changing PTSD after suffering two cardiac arrests while giving birth to her daughter Sophia, now three.

Following an uncomplicated pregnancy, Keeley delivered her daughter via c-section on 18 May, 2021.

She had chosen to have a procedure after needing an emergency c-section while giving birth to her first daughter Mya, now 14.

However, it was during the operation that Keeley – from Rochdale, Greater Manchester – began to experience complications.

She began to feel an overwhelming urge to be sick once the surgeon began to cut into her, before seeing the ECG line – a machine used to track a patient’s heartbeat – flatten, signalling that her heart had stopped.

She was unconscious for around two minutes, before later losing consciousness again – waking to her the sound of her newborn daughter crying.

Recalling the incident – which had left her with fractured ribs – Keeley said: “I think it’s fair to say I actually died twice.

“My last memory was feeling so sick, then seeing the line go flat and hearing that long beep, and everyone hitting buttons. Then I remember the anaesthetist standing over me saying my name over and over.”

The mum-of-two went on to add that the ordeal had led her to suffer from PTSD, anxiety, flashbacks and nightmares.

“I saw her face in my sleep for about six months because I had nightmares about this,” she said.

The following day – after a chest x-ray confirmed that she had suffered fractured ribs from receiving CPR – Keeley was sent home, where she struggled in pain for six months.

“I was in so much pain afterwards,” the travel consultant and business owner said.

“I could have managed the c-section but the broken ribs were agony. It felt quite early to be discharged especially because I was still in shock.

“I couldn’t move – I had to sleep propped up for about two months because of the pain in my chest. I couldn’t lift my baby and it even hurt to have her lay on my chest – that made me so sad.”

Thankfully, Keeley was still able to bond with her daughter but wasn’t able to get definitive answers on why her heart had stopped beating during labour, despite speaking with medics and the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

“I had PTSD from this. I was emotionally traumatised for about six months. I’ve never had any other mental health problems but this gave me real anxiety and flashbacks,” she admitted.

“I still feel confused. I can accept that it’s happened and that I’ve moved on but when I think about this I still feel the shock of it.”

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