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Ivy Jones, Mayo Clinic patient: I'm a first-time mom. My pregnancy was so smooth. It was so healthy. And then I passed out when I was six months pregnant with Neecy. So they had to call the ambulance and then-- that's the only part I remember.
Alberto Pochettino, M.D., Cardiovascular Surgeon: I got a phone call, and it was a patient coming from North Dakota who presented with low blood pressure, hypotension, shock while pregnant, and she had a history of Marfan syndrome. Marfan syndrome is a syndrome where all of the aorta is abnormal and she was found, on X-ray and CT scan, to have a rupture of her descending thoracic aorta. There were really no other local hospitals that felt comfortable handling the situation. Mayo Clinic provided immediate access to high-risk obstetrician, to very competent cardiology who have a focus on aortic disease, and to surgeons like myself whose life has been spent dealing with aortic disease. She was flown in directly to us, in fact, directly to the operating room. The first surgery was to stop the bleeding, essentially was a temporary solution to somebody who was bleeding to death, and that was achieved by putting a stent graft.
Ivy Jones I survived. It was a miracle.
Dr. Pochettino: The next issue was what are we going to do next? We came up with a plan where we would allow the mother to continue her pregnancy for a period of a few weeks to get to a more mature baby, allow her to deliver the baby under close observation, and at that point, we could then bring her back to the operating room, take the stent graft out, and replace the aorta in a more definitive fashion. So we came up with something that was appropriate both for the baby's health as well as preventing any trouble for the mother.
Ivy Jones: Last week, when Neecy turned one, it was so unbelievable. I couldn't believe that it's been a year already. It feels like it was just yesterday.
Dr. Pochettino: The fact that we were able to provide immediate attention and then continue that attention over the next few weeks until we could definitively fix her problem was critical. To find that place that has so many competent individuals in such different specialties is unique.
Ivy Jones: I don't have enough words to describe the care they gave to me. I feel so grateful to them.
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