Indy mom to celebrate first Mother's Day after whirlwind delivery
By Anne Marie Tiernon, WTHR anchor and Healthbeat reporter - bio | email
Allie Hershberger had a heart attack while delivering her daughter, Samantha.
It is going to be a big celebration this Sunday for a young mother who is marking her first Mother's Day after a delivery unlike any her medical team had seen before.
Baby Samantha is all dressed up, marking her three-month milestone. She arrived five weeks early in a whirlwind delivery.
"It happened so quickly and the doctors and all the nurses and staff moved so quickly that I just gave in and said, 'This is happening right now'," said Allie Hershberger.
Hershberger was 26 years old and 35 weeks pregnant. When she complained of chest pains, tests revealed she was having a heart attack.
"What she had was a clot that formed in what was otherwise a normal heart artery," said Dr. Bradley Weinberg.
The plan was to deliver the baby by C-section, then work on mom. A massive team mobilized at Community South Hospital.
"We had an OR team in the cath lab, we had the obstetrics team in the cath lab, we had the nursery in the cath lab and we had the cardiologist in the cath lab," said Dr. Soheila Boyer.
It was a medical challenge and the outcome was uncertain.
"Because of the possibility that she was going to go into cardiac arrest while she was getting catheterization, we were not even sure she was going to make it off the table," Boyer said.
"It was a rough day, for sure," said father Adrian Hershberger.
Sam arrived with a scream.
"It was very emotional," said Boyer.
Doctors worked the next hour and a half to place a stent and save mom.
"The nice thing was, you could tell everyone in the room was praying for the family," Boyer said.
"It's definitely going to be a special Mother's Day. Probably be a day of reflection of all of the wild things that have happened in the last few months," Allie Hershberger said.
Doctors say they knew they may have had to resuscitate Hershberger and that the chest compressions required were not safe with the baby. That is part of why they knew they had to deliver the little girl first.