'Miracle Mom' survives extreme blood loss

Doctors say rare condition caused complications during delivery

Published On: Apr 11 2012 04:12:21 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 11 2012 04:51:28 PM CDT
SAN ANTONIO -

Gina Walker said she was only a few weeks pregnant with her fifth child when things first started going wrong..

She thought she had a miscarriage but it turned out she had a blood clot. 

She said things got worse from there.

"The whole pregnancy was horrific. Every week was a new symptom, a new hemorrhage, a new blood clot, a new this, a new that. The baby was going to have issues," she said.

Eventually, doctors said she had a condition called Placenta Percreta, which occurs in about 1 percent of all pregnancies.

"It's where the placenta can invade through the uterine wall and go into the bladder, said Dr. Jason Parker, with UT Medicine San Antonio.

Against the odds, Addison Grace Walker was born healthy on Feb. 15. 

However, immediately after her birth, her mother's condition turned severe.

Parker said the medical team was prepared for a lot of bleeding but they had never had a case this complicated.

They expected Gina to need about 10 liters of blood. She required 117. That's roughly about 35 gallons of blood. 

"We have not ever transfused that much blood to a patient," said Sherrie Warner, manager of Transfusion Medicine.

Friends, family and hospital staff rushed to donate blood to keep up with the demand.

Parker said the availability of blood and the quick work of staff played a big role in saving Walker's life but believes a higher power may have also played a role.

"Yes, this was a miracle, " he said. "There's no other way to explain it. Something else was involved in assisting us in helping her survive this process."

Walker was in the hospital for about a month. The only lasting side effect of the ordeal, she said, is blurry vision in one eye. 

Doctors say she could have easily suffered brain injury, stroke, paralysis or death. 

Walker said the ordeal has strengthened her faith and belief in the power of prayer.    

"I've always been very religious in my beliefs but now my faith is even more because  I know that a true miracle has happened," she said.