Story of "Miracle Mom" - KMSP-TV

Story of "Miracle Mom"

Story of "Miracle Mom"

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ATLANTA, Ga. - It's still seems like a dream.

Edita Tracey of Roswell, 8-months pregnant with 2-year old Savannah at home, was at a Buckhead hair salon April 26th, when her upper back started hurting. She says, “The pain, it wasn't sharp pain, it was just pressing."
Edita called her husband Ken, a pilot for Southwest Airlines who was in Chicago that day. Then, when the pain moved to her chest, she dialed 911. She says, “The last thing I remember is emergency people coming, and that's it. I don't remember anything else."
At Northside's Hospital’s ER, doctors started running tests, trying to find out if something was wrong with the baby, or with Edita. An obstetrician ordered a CT scan to rule out a blood clot. That's when they saw it: Edita, 35, seemingly healthy, with no symptoms until that day was in grave danger. Her aorta, the main blood vessel feeding blood from her heart to her body, was not only bulging, it was ripping apart.
Ken Tracey, her husband, who’d rushed home, says, “That's when everything started moving quick, going from one nurse in there to about 12 people in there."
The Northside doctor immediately sent the scans to Emory University heart surgeon Dr. Omar Lattouf on his cell phone.
He could see a huge aneurysm, or bulge in the wall of the aorta. Dr. Lattouf, typically calm, says “That was very scary, that was very scary."
There was good reason to be concerned. The tear in Edita's aorta stretched close to a foot long, and blood was pooling around her heart. Doctors knew Edita didn't have much time. So, they airlifted Edita from Northside to Emory University Midtown Hospital, where two surgical teams were gathering: one to deliver her baby, the other to try to save Edita.
Dr. Lattouf says their teamwork had to be perfect, "With everyone knowing what needs to be done. And to do it. And to do it right. The first time. There are no missteps with this one, absolutely no missteps."
Edita would be in surgery for close to 9 hours. Obstetrician Dr. John Horton's team went first, performing a c-section. Dr. Horton says, "When they put a mom under full-sleep anesthesia, that medication is now running towards the baby. So I need to get to the baby as efficiently as possible." That’s what he did. Watching, Dr. Lattouf says, "As soon as mom went to sleep, literally, literally, 30 seconds and that baby was out and screaming."
Arabella was 6 pounds, 12 ounces and perfectly healthy. Then Dr. Lattouf's team took over. In 30 years of heart surgery, Edita would be his most complex case. He opened her chest, drained the blood pooling around her heart, then placed her on a heart-lung bypass, cooling her body to shut down her circulation, so he could begin the repair work.
In another part of the hospital, Ken was able to hold their baby for the first time.
He says, "You think about the baby, this should be a joyous occasion. And now your mind goes right back, it goes right back to if she's going to make it. The whole night was up and down."
Edita made it, and woke the next day in the ICU, where they brought her Arabella. She says, "It was a great feeling to know that the baby was alive, and that I survived."
Dr. Lattouf says he’s grateful he could help Edita and Arabella. He says, "What a greater feeling to be able to save a mom's life. And to ensure that that baby will be in the arms of her mom for the rest of her life?"
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