A WARSOP mum who suffered a heart attack and stopped breathing for two minutes shortly after giving birth has thanked hospital staff who worked around the clock to save her life.
Thirty-six-year-old mum Diane Winterton gave birth to daughter Emily by caesarean section on 4th January but lost consciousness moments later after developing a rare, life-threatening condition known as amniotic fluid embolism - which affects just one-in-80,000 women.
“I started having trouble breathing, my husband David said my eyes were bulging, I was just lying there staring at him,” she said.
“That was when I ‘died’, my heart stopped for about 20 seconds and I stopped breathing for about two minutes but I thought I was just having a dream.”
King’s Mill Hospital staff managed to resuscitate Diane and she was eventually allowed to return to rest in the labour ward where she was able to hold her new-born daughter Emily for the first time.
“Back in the ward I felt fine, I’d been stitched back up and had a dressing on the wound and even managed to give Emily a little bit of breast milk,” added Diane, of Mansfield Road.
But within an hour, midwives alerted the hospital’s consultant to excessive bleeding around the stitches of her caesarean wound and she was taken to the intensive care unit where she continued to lose blood.
After several hours she was taken into theatre at 6am where doctors worked for several hours to save her life.
Diane lost about two-and-a-half litres of blood from around her womb during the procedure leading to extra blood supplies being sent by courier from Sheffield’s hospitals through the night.
Following the surgery, Diane returned to King’s Mill’s intensive care unit where she spent four days recovering before being allowed home.
The hospital’s medical team suspected that Diane had developed amniotic fluid embolism - an extremely rare obstetric emergency in which amniotic fluid, foetal cells, hair, or other debris enter the maternal circulation, causing cardiac arrest.
“It’s times like this when you realise how important it is to give blood and I’d like to say a big thank you to all blood donors, you never know when it is going to happen to you or a loved one,” added Diane.
Diane, who also suffered complications during pregnancy after developing placenta praevia, has now made a full recovery from the surgery and is enjoying spending time with husband David, four-year-old son Thomas and Emily Louise Winterton is six weeks old today.
But she says that without the fantastic help from staff at King’s Mill Hospital, she would not be here today.
“Everybody who dealt with us at the hospital was absolutely phenomenal and if it was not for them, I would not be here to tell the story,” she said.
“If I was in America I would have had to pay for all this and the financial costs would have been unthinkable.
“It was worse for my husband David than it was for me, it was a physical thing for me but my husband and family went through the emotional side of things. The hospital were superb and kept them informed of things at all times.
“I’ve got a tremendous family and everybody pulled together when they had to and I can’t thank them enough.”
Alison Whitham, head of midwifery for Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our dedicated staff are committed to providing first class care for our patients.
“An amniotic fluid embolism is a rare condition which causes a number of problems, most noticeably difficulty with blood clotting.
“We are truly proud of the excellent maternity services we have at King’s Mill Hospital and are delighted that mum and baby are both doing well”.