Chicago woman dies while giving birth, lives to tell about it

A Chicago woman’s heart completely stopped while giving birth, but she lived to tell about it.

According to a report by KPHO, in May of 2013 Stephanie Arnold had a feeling something would go wrong during the birth of her son, Jacob. While delivering via C-section, Arnold’s heart stopped for 37 seconds with no vitals.

“My heart stopped, all electrical signals went to zero,” she said.

Dr. Julie Levitt, Arnold’s OBGYN diagnosed a rare condition, amniotic fluid embolism or AFE, where fetal material gets into the mother’s bloodstream causing a life-threatening reaction.

Arnold lived through the ordeal, but was in a coma for six days and spent weeks in the hospital.

As an expecting mother Arnold expressed concerns to her anesthesiologist that she felt something might go wrong.

“It was so raw. It was the feeling that I had was I was going to die. There was no question,” Arnold said.

Her nagging feeling that something was amiss caused her to request extra precautions from her anesthesiologist.

“That is 100 percent what saved my life,” Arnold said.

“Don’t be afraid to express what your fears are to your physician. And, if you’re met with a dismissive comment, bring it up again,” Levitt said.

Arnold said since the experience she “takes deeper breaths,” enjoys time with her son and savors ever moment with her family.

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