Thirty-one weeks into a happy, healthy pregnancy, life changed on a dime for Danielle and her baby girl, Isabella. Dani began having chest tightness and trouble breathing a few days leading up to a terrifying ordeal she had no idea she was about to face.
On Saturday, September 15th, Dani and little Bella entered into a fight for their lives. Federico rushed Dani to the hospital. Within 10 hours of entering the Emergency Room, Baby Bella was delivered, weighing just 3 lbs 4 oz, and measuring 15.75 inches long, by emergency c-section. Bella was immediately thereafter whisked to the NICU while mom continued to fight for her own life, aided by life support and the amazing team in the CVICU at Memorial Regional Hospital.
Peri-partum cardiomyopathy, also called PPCM, is a rare form of congestive heart failure that affects between 0.025 - 0.04% of women in the United States. Danielle's heart was only pumping at 15%, which was compromising crucial blood supply to Isabella and also to Danielle's vital organs.
Fluid was backing up into Dani's lungs, causing her oxygen to drop to dangerous levels. She was barely able to stay conscious and was placed on rescue Bi-PAP. However, Dani's condition continued to deteriorate and so she was rushed for c-section under general anesthesia. As risky as surgery was for Danielle, it was the best option to give both her and her baby a fighting chance to survive.
Not only are there great medical expenses that come along with their lengthy hospital stays in and out of the ICU, but Dani faces long-term complications if her heart condition doesn't resolve. The extent of Dani's heart damage still remains unclear. Statistically, she has a 50/50 chance that her heart will return to normal function.
Dani and Isabella have proven to be fighters, and we are now waiting to see what the next stage of their journey holds. Contributions will go directly to Danielle, Federico, and their new (tiny) family. Not only will the funds be used towards their costly medical bills, but also towards the purchase of essential items such as preemie clothing and diapering supplies to be used upon Bella's (eventual) discharge home to her loving family. No amount is too small. Thank you for your help!
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