One pregnancy took an unusual turn for the worse after a mother nearly died from an extremely rare complication.
When Angela Cottam of Wales had to be checked into the hospital for pre-eclampsia, a serious condition that causes swelling and high blood pressure in pregnancy, she was induced in order to deliver her twin girls before the condition worsened. However, nurses soon realized Cottam was struggling to breathe and that she was suffering from a much worse condition—her lungs were collapsing.
The doctors realized that 32-year-old Cottam was suffering from an amniotic fluid embolism, which is a severe allergic reaction that occurs when cells from one of the babies, such as a fingernail or hair, are leaked into the mother’s blood stream.
The doctors, however, acted quickly and performed a Cesarean section to deliver the twins, but Cottam had already lost seven pints of blood. It took three hours to stabilize Cottam, who needed 22 blood transfusions and fell into a coma. Once stable, she was taken to the intensive care unit, and her husband Peter thought she would be in a coma for weeks. Twelve hours later, however, Cottam woke up and was able to hold her twins later that day.
The condition is a rare one, affecting only one in 80,000 pregnancies. Luckily for Cottam, the nurses caught it just in time and she was able to be released from the hospital a week later.
The twins, Amelie and Ava, were able to be released shortly after their mother. The couple also have another daughter, 4-year-old Olivia.
“Knowing that I almost died has changed my perspective on life; I’m more laid back and I am enjoying being a mum more than ever because I know we were so close to losing so much,” Cottam said.