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Woman Who Survived Rare Disorder Throws Thank-you Party For Maine Hospital Staff That Saved Her

March 22, 2019

In the delivery room of the Mount Desert Island Hospital (MDI) in Bar Harbor, ME, Alisa Nye stopped breathing moments after giving birth to a beautiful baby girl. And then her heart stopped beating.

For six intense minutes the on-duty obstetrics team raced to keep her alive, using chest compressions and a defibrillator. Her pulse returned, only to vanish. The staff did not yield. They used the defibrillator again and got a pulse; they intubated Nye to keep her breathing.

Still desperately ill and before she could even meet her daughter, Nye was airlifted to Eastern Maine Medical Center, and then to Mass General Hospital in Boston, her husband Davis Taylor at her side the whole time.

Their baby girl, Lumen, stayed behind in the care of the MDI staff.

At Mass General, Nye made a full recovery from post-partum “amniotic fluid embolism,” or AFE, an extremely rare event that occurs when amniotic fluid from the placenta enters a mother’s blood stream. For a very few mothers, this can result in an almost immediate shutdown of respiratory and cardiac systems, and includes pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs) and the potentially deadly clotting of the blood throughout the body. Experts describe the obstetrics complication as “unpredictable” and “unpreventable.”

Seven months after that harrowing July 31, 2018 ordeal, Nye, Davis, and a perfectly healthy Lumen, returned to MDI to throw a thank-you party for the staff that saved Nye and kept her family intact.

In a touching story in the Mount Desert Islander, Nye said that she “can’t imagine not thanking” the staff that saved her life.

The Mount Desert Islander further describes Nye and her thank-you party:

Nye said there were people at the event who she did not recognize. One caregiver at the event told her, “No one was ever thrown a thank-you event before.”

“That made me really sad to think about,” Nye said. “As a caregiver, sometimes you never know how that patient is doing when they leave. You don’t get closure.”

Nye recognized that her case was particularly hard on the hospital’s staff.

“It was traumatic for them too,” she said. “It’s hard to see a patient go off in a helicopter, that’s not supposed to happen. [But they] didn’t freak out.

“That’s why I want them to be recognized. I can’t imagine not thanking them; that’s the very least I can do.”

According to the Mount Desert Islander, Nye learned that a veteran nurse on duty at the time of her near-death event had experienced a patient once before who presented with AFE — in the 1970s or 1980s — and was quickly able to recognize the signs of the affliction in Nye’s case.



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