This former military family went from celebrating a birth to waiting helplessly as mom's life hangs in the balance. Please help support them
This is the story of Gina and Addison Walker.
The journey of the this miracle started in July of 2011, when Gina and I were told that Gina was most likely going to miscarry our baby. It was very hard for us and we were devastated. Shortly afterwards we were for sure that Gina had miscarried. So we continued on life thinking that we were done trying to have a baby. After about two and half weeks while on vacation at my parents house in Port Arthur, Gina began to feel sick and so we went to the hospital just so they could do a check up on her. Unto our surprise, the nurse told us that everything was ok and that our baby was doing well also. Huh?!?!
We immediately rushed back to San Antonio that evening and went straight to our doctor the very next morning. Was it true? The doctor confirmed that Gina was still pregnant. Wow, what a blessing that news was. He did however say that there were two very large blood clots inside the placenta and that one was about 60 times the size of the baby and the other was roughly 100 times the size. This was what was causing her early pregnancy bleeding. Although, the baby seemed to be fine we had to keep a very close eye on her symptoms to make sure that the baby was ok.
After a few meetings with our doctor, he advised us that Gina had a condition called Placenta Previa. The condition causes the placenta to attach at the bottom of the uterus instead of the top. In Gina’s case, she had full Previa, the worst one of the three types. This just meant that it would 100% be a c-section delivery. After a couple more visit, the doctor made yet another finding. Gina now on top of the Previa, had another condition which is called Placenta Precretia, and hers was complete Placenta Precretia. This is where the placenta grows through the uterine wall and attaches to other organs and such.
After this diagnosis our doctor decided that this case was a little more than he could take on. So he referred Gina to a doctor at University Hospital in San Antonio, TX that he believe would be able to manage this type of complicated pregnancy. At this point in time the odds were against Gina and soon to be Addison. We each did a tremendous amount of research trying to find out survival numbers of patients with this diagnosis, but to no avail. Why you ask, well we didn’t know this at the time but there were only 3 women in the world that had survived this diagnosis out of who knows. So the information wasn’t there. To add to the list of worries, in October 2011, they did some blood work on Gina and came back with some results that made the doctors think that our baby would be paralyzed possibly. It wasn’t until about two weeks later that they retested her and the results were 99% clear of this problem. After that scare it was pretty much uneventful up until December 2011 when they found blood in Gina’s urine. At that point in time the doctors found it best that Gina not leave Bexar County for any reason.
January 30th 2012.
Gina was admitted into the hospital to start preparing for the February 15th delivery. They had to schedule the date so that they could have all the necessary doctors available. Her stay in the hospital too was quite uneventful minus the daily struggles with her food.
February 15th 2012 at 7:15 a.m. the nurse came to get Gina and I. They took us over to labor and delivery where they began prepping Gina for what was supposed to be a 3-4 hour surgery. She started getting very nervous but her doctor was there to help me keep her calm. In her mind, she thought this was the LAST time she would be alive. At 8:23 a.m. they took her back into the operating room. They had prepared for surgery with 30 units or blood and blood products.
Addison Grace Walker was born 6 weeks premature at 9:20 a.m. and was immediately brought to the NICU where she was put on a breathing machine. At first she was not breathing as she should have been due to the heavy sedation Gina was under. She weighed 4lbs 14.6 oz and was 18 inches long.
Gina’s surgery didn’t take 3-4 hours and they didn’t use just 30 units of blood. Gina was in surgery from 8:23 a.m. until approx. 7:30 p.m. The doctors had used approx. 410 units of blood and blood products. She was still receiving blood all the way through Thursday evening. All in all she received roughly 530 units. She went back into surgery on Thursday and Friday, when finally the bleeding had stopped and the doctors made repairs to her bladder, abdominal wall and pelvis where the placenta had attached. This whole time Gina was in a medically induced coma in the Surgical ICU. After the surgeries and all Gina finally woke up 1 week after the delivery, she seemed to be fine, just a little groggy from the medicines and sore from her surgeries. The doctors explained that she would be slow in her movements and would have to learn to do simple stuff like walking and using her arms. Gina was moved from the SICU on Friday February 22nd to her room on the 4th floor. There she was in a familiar place with friends (the nurses on the floor) and family.
Addison was released from the hospital on February 26th 2012 at 3:27 p.m. She still weighed 4 lbs. 14 oz. She finally got the strength to manage eating every three hours without getting to tired to finish her meals.
Gina had only seen the baby once before she went home and it was for a matter of about 10 minutes while she was still in the SICU. Gina had a virus that prevented her from seeing the kids and the baby for about a week after she woke up. Once she was no longer sick, her mother brought the kids to the hospital for the first time. Gina finally got to hold the Addison on February 29th at 7:04 p.m. None of us could even fathom this but it would also be the last time she would hold her for about 2 weeks.
After all that Gina had gone through and overcame, after the kids left the hospital that evening Gina became severely manic and was diagnosed with temporary psychosis. This is a symptom that commonly occurs with patients that have severe trauma or have extended periods of time in the hospital.
Gina was finally released from the hospital on March 19th 2012 at 7:47 p.m. She is now at home and has been getting better. She still has a long road to recovery but with all the prayers and thoughts she and our family have received, we are hoping that she will make a full recovery soon. Addison is now a little over a month old and she now weighs approx. 6 lbs 6 oz and is just shy of 19 inches.
This website was setup by a military family living in San Antonio who at first just came to donate blood, but left the hospital as lifelong friends. Please help out in any way you can. We don’t like to ask for help but we know at this time we are going to truly need it.
I am so grateful for the outpour of support we have received. Gina and Addison are truly miracles.
Please share our story as we would love to share it with the world. Gina is only 1 of 4 women in the world to have survived this diagnosis and maybe the only woman in the world to have survived a blood transfusion of this magnitude.
Please contact me if you have any questions. Thank you and have a wonderful and bless day.
Dustin L. Walker