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Health Matters: Vasa Praevia

It's one of the most exciting moments in a woman's life, the birth of her infant. But when things go wrong it could also be the most terrifying.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - "It's a wonderful blessing."

Theresa Wyrick is talking about her bundle of joy, 3-month-old Lilly.

"I did all the right things eat right, exercise, took care of myself," says Wyrick.

So Wyrick wasn't prepared for what would happen when her water broke at UAMS.

"And all of a sudden there was blood and they lost the baby's heartbeat and they couldn't get it back," Wyrick recalled.

"Theresa actually had a condition called Vasa Praevia which means Lily's umbilical vessels were floating at the cervical opening," explained Dr. Amy Brunt.

"And of course my next question was is she going to die and the answer was we don't know," said Wyrick.

Time was of the essence and a team of medical experts made the quick decision to do a c-section.

"Baby Lily was out in 10 minutes."

Lily made it through the delivery, but the threat wasn't over.

Doctors worried about brain damage and other problems after the loss of so much blood.

"When I first met Lily she was obviously very pale and had a low heart rate and required excessive resuscitation," explained Dr. Amy Brunt.

This cooling cap on Lily's head helped regulate her temperature and reduce the risk of brain damage.

Wyrick nervously waited to see if it would work.

"The pediatric nurse came in and gave us the best news ever which was that the MRI and EEG were normal sorry," said Wyrick.

"So I predict she'll have a bright future," said Dr. Brunt.

"First day home her sister was so excited!"

Looking through a photo album of the good times and bad, Wyrick says she's blessed to be the mother of a miracle baby.

Dr. Brunt says Vasa Praevia which is a rare condition typically goes undetected on ultrasounds and there's not much that can be done to prevent it.

However, she did recommend mothers get good prenatal care and deliver in a hospital setting.
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