One Menasha pregnant woman went into cardiac arrest, but thankfully due to quick action, she and her baby are safe.
Chelsea McElligott was 38 weeks pregnant with her first child. She started feeling dizzy and overall wasn't feeling very well. She told reporters that she had thought that she was very dehydrated. Dehydration is quite common during pregnancy and so she didn't think it was anything too serious. She and her husband went to the hospital. Chelsea was promptly given fluids and was then sent back home as if she were perfectly fine.
When they got home from the hospital they went to sleep. In the middle of the night, Chelsea's husband woke up, because he heard Chelsea make a strange-sounding gasp for air. He noticed that she wasn't breathing, and quickly called 9-1-1. Within minutes the ambulance arrived and the paramedics started using an automated external defibrillator, or AED, to shock her heart. They had to shock her 3 times. They found a pulse and she was rushed to the hospital.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="690"] Via nbc15.com[/caption]
Chelsea was immediately sent into surgery where they performed an emergency cesarean. They removed the little baby from Chelsea. When the little boy was taken out they found that he didn't have a pulse either. They shocked him as well. Thankfully the shock brought life back into the little boy and they were able to find his pulse. The hospital staff was able to get to the point where the little boy and Chelsea both had steady heartbeats.
It was found that Chelsea had an undiagnosed heart condition called Wolf Parkinson White Syndrome (WPW). It's a rare condition where there's an extra electrical pathway between the lower and upper part of the heart. Those who suffer from WPW experience a sensation of rapid, fluttering or pounding heartbeats, dizziness, shortness of breath, fainting, fatigue, and anxiety.
Chelsea assumed that the symptoms she was experiencing were just because she was pregnant. She had no idea that it was due to a larger cause. She had experienced many heart palpitations, fast pulse, and other issues for over 15 years, but she never thought anything about it. Thankfully, Chelsea has been properly diagnosed and she is receiving the medical help that she needs. Nick Romenesko, systems director with Gold Cross Ambulance, is amazed that both Chelsea and her son were able to make it out of such a horrible situation. He had never heard of a pregnant woman who has gone into cardiac arrest have the baby survive. It just doesn't happen. "The paramedics on that call will likely not have such a great outcome ever again in their careers," said Romenesco.
Chelsea and her little boy were obviously involved in a miracle and we are so grateful that they both were able to survive. Wishing for a healthy recovery for both mom and baby!
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