CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Doctors and nurses at Carolinas Healthcare System made a bold decision that helped to save the lives of a mother and her unborn son.
Danielle Gaither, 31, was pregnant and went to the emergency department more than three months ago with chest pains caused by a high-risk medical condition.
Doctors said she was minutes away from losing her own life and had a less than one percent chance of surviving in the operating room.
“The gold standard of treating aortic dissection is circulatory arrest, which is a surgical technique that stops blood circulation,” said doctor Jeko Madjarov. “But Danielle’s son needed blood flow in order to survive. This case was extremely rare.”
The team at Carolinas Healthcare System made the call to perform two surgeries at the same time. Doctors delivered her baby and she received emergency open heart surgery. It took a team of more than 15 nurses and doctors and six hours in the operating room.
Gaither’s son, K.V., was born prematurely and is now a healthy baby at home with his family.
Gaither met him for the first time in June, 111 days after he was born.
“It was a miracle that I had my baby,” Gaither said. “I’m glad that I’m here and I thank Dr. Madjarov and the team, along with God, for saving my life.”
Gaither and her family, along with her doctors will be talking about the life-saving surgery Monday afternoon.