Monday, April 14, 2008

A Courageous Mama Says No To Abortion

From The Virginian-Pilot© April 14, 2008
By Connie Sage

"Tricia has cystic fibrosis, an inherited chronic disease that primarily affects the lungs. While other CF women have had babies and lung transplants, "it's usually years apart, not weeks," Zaas said.

A year ago, Tricia's cystic fibrosis had worsened to the point that she was eligible for a lung transplant.

But in September, the day before she and her husband, Nathan, were to leave for a month of pre-transplant physical therapy at Duke, they learned she was pregnant.

Not only was she temporarily ineligible for a lung transplant, her doctors told her there was a good chance that neither she nor her baby would survive the pregnancy. They recommended an abortion.

"She had end stages of cystic fibrosis and the changes of pregnancy put a large demand on her body as sick as she was," Zaas said, "We told her it was a serious risk."

But Tricia had been praying for a "miracle baby," Nate said. "It was a matter of do we trust God? We need to leave it up to him. That was our decision."
Two days after Christmas and after more than three months of physical therapy at Duke, Tricia was admitted to the hospital. She was transferred to Duke's intensive care unit on Jan. 3.

As she grew weaker, the transplant team put her on a ventilator, hoping to give the baby more time to grow.

When her vital signs dropped precariously, doctors decided to do an emergency C-section, Nate said.

"Do you want us to save Tricia or the baby?" Nate remembered the doctors asking before the surgery.

The answer was easy.

Do everything you can to save my wife and baby, he told them.

Both pulled through, but Zaas said the medical team knew it would be an uphill battle for both mother and child.

Because Nate is not a CF gene carrier, their baby does not have the disease.

Gwyneth Rose was so small at her Jan. 8 birth that she was considered a "micro-preemie" and placed in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Amazed at her size, Nate took off his wedding band, gently slipped it over his newborn daughter's wrist and found that he could glide the ring to her shoulder.

For nine days after Gwyneth's birth, Tricia lay in a medically induced coma, unaware that she had a daughter, he said.

"The two people who are the most important in my life were literally in the same medical state," he said. "Both were on ventilators, both on feeding tubes, both plugged into monitors."

Tricia's lung transplant team said it likely would be three months after she gave birth before she was strong enough to receive new lungs.

She started lifting weights and walking. Six weeks later, still on a ventilator, Tricia was back on the list for a double lung transplant.

Only 2 percent of all lung transplant patients have had the surgery while on a ventilator, Zaas said.

On the morning of April 2 - Nate's 27th birthday - Tricia learned of a suitable donor. That night, Duke's lung transplant team began operating, completing the surgery nine hours later.

Tricia has not rejected the new lungs, and her transplant team is cautiously optimistic.

"She was much sicker than the average lung transplant patient, but she's doing as well as can be expected," Zaas said.

Baby Gwyneth has had laser eye surgery, but her organs are developing well, her father said.
Last week, for the first time, Tricia held her daughter.

Read the article in it's entirety here.


simplysanctified said...

What an amazing and profound story. Thank you for sharing it!

Dutchess said...

Oh my goodness, she is beautiful! such a tiny person! I love parents like that.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing story!


Anonymous said...

Wow. Praise God.

-Christine from Arizona

Christie said...

Found you through Ladies Against Feminism! Thank you so much for sharing this story... It's encouraging to see people taking stands for life!

Uncommon Homemaker said...

Faith is Beautifull

Miss Kelly & Miss Andrea said...

Sara- It is an amazing story indeed. I happened upon it the night she had her tx. I was sincerely glad to have found it right then because I was able to pray for her surgery.

Darrelynn- Now you see why the interest in sewing premee clothing. They have such special needs.

Valerie- It is amazing to be sure. I am thankful they shared it. Now many of us can rejoice along with them and praise God.

Christine- Nice to see you back again. I share your sentiments exactly. The story makes you want to hollar, "Yay God!"

Christie- We are glad to meet you. Thankyou for leaving us a note. I see that we have much in common. We are looking forward to getting to know you better. I love your blog header. You have been blessed with a darling family. And P.S. I know someone that will be especially happy to see your post about the herb ball.

God Bless,

yoshi3329 said...

wow what a remarkable story! thanks for giving us the heads up!

Charity said...

sweet story!