Mom has heart surgery, c-section within hours - News, Weather & Sports

Mom has heart surgery, c-section within hours

Patricia DeSpain Patricia DeSpain
Baby Rachel Baby Rachel
Dr. Peter Heyl Dr. Peter Heyl

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – For Patricia DeSpain this Mother's Day may be the most special one in her life.

After an aortic aneurism and open heart surgery, not only will DeSpain get to spend it with her mother thanks to many teams of doctors she'll be able to spend it as a new mother.

It all started for DeSpain on April 26 when she woke up with what she thought was heartburn.

"I woke up in the middle of the night and I had some type of chest pain and it wasn't bad chest pain it was just an annoying chest pain," said DeSpain.

Aortic aneurisms run in her family, but DeSpain had no idea the little annoyance she was experiencing was an aneurism. Not only did she have one, she was 36 weeks pregnant. DeSpain was rushed to University Hospital and into the care of Dr. Peter Heyl.

"Not only do you need to be delivered, but I'm going to move you to a different hospital to do it," said Dr. Heyl, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at University, "And, oh yeah by the way they think you need cardiac surgery shortly thereafter. I can see why Patricia can barely remember the details."

Dr. Heyl said he knows the news had to be overwhelming.

Patricia was rushed to Jewish Hospital for heart surgery, but doctors there first had to perform a c-section in a hospital that doesn't perform deliveries. Dr. Heyl said everyone was asking, "What are we going to do with a baby in Jewish Hospital?"

That's where the Neonatal Transport Team from Kosair Children's Hospital entered the story. They were waiting to take charge of the baby's care. Thirty six hours later, DeSpain underwent open heart surgery. She woke up to a small, but healthy, baby Rachel.

"I think she's the most beautiful baby ever, so it was worth it," said a smiling DeSpain as she looked down at her new baby girl.

Rachel may only weigh five pounds, but the joy and warmth she brings to her mom and grandmother this Mother's Day is astronomical.

"It's going to mean a lot," said DeSpain. "It's my first Mother's Day. I'm sure that's special for anyone but hopefully I'm home for Mother's Day. That's the goal."

It's been an eventful two weeks, but two weeks she's very grateful for.

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