Story of Hope
Miracle Mom and Twins Meet Caregivers
By Kelly Lawman
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center staff
Anurag Maskey was all smiles as he walked through the doors of a conference room at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and he had good reason to be. Not only was he pushing his twin baby boys, but he was also escorting his wife, Shachi. The family was arriving together to thank the vast medical team – nurses, doctors, blood bank and surgical staff - who helped save Shachi's life. And she was meeting many of them for the first time.
"I'm one of the anesthesiologists who helped with your care. We never met when you were awake," Selina Long, MD, said to Shachi. "I'm just amazed to see you alive. You're a real miracle."
Shachi answered back, "You guys are amazing. You were so strong to take care of me,"
"I can't even believe it," added Anurag.
On March 23, Shachi and Anurag went to the doctor's office for what they thought was a routine check-up. Just over 35 weeks pregnant with twins, Shachi had experienced no complications or symptoms indicating that she or the babies were in distress. But this appointment was different.
Shachi's BIDMC obstetrician, Isabel Morais, MD, was concerned with the babies' growth and sent Shachi to Labor and Delivery for further evaluation and likely delivery. Monica Mendiola, MD, promptly admitted Shachi and brought her to the operating room for an urgent Cesarean delivery.
Once in the operating room, it was immediately apparent that Shachi was very sick with liver and kidney failure. It was later diagnosed as a particularly severe case of acute fatty liver disease of pregnancy, a rare and potentially fatal complication that can occur in the third trimester or just after delivery.
Shachi went directly from the operating room to the Finard Intensive Care Unit. When she arrived, she was gravely ill. Her blood wasn't clotting and she was bleeding internally. She would need more surgery and blood.
Intensivist Michael Howell, MD, inserted a trauma line and Anna Mintz, RN, spent the night tracking down desperately needed blood products. All told, Shachi would require 81 units of red blood cells, platelets and cryoprecipitate. In response to all the blood and other fluids, her body swelled. A hole was drilled in her skull to monitor and release pressure on her brain.
Meanwhile, the 4 ½- and 4 ¾-lb. twins had been whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
"The babies were fine," Nurse Manager Jane Smallcomb, RN, said. "They did incredibly well and Dad was there every day."
Splitting his time between the babies in the East Campus NICU and his wife in the West Campus Surgical ICU, Anurag wanted to wait until Shachi woke up to name the babies. Almost two weeks later when she did, the first born was named Ishan; his brother, younger by seconds, was named Avi.
The babies are now nine weeks old and weigh in at more than 10 pounds each.
"I'm one of the NICU nurses," Jaylee Rhodes, RN, introduced herself to Shachi. "I brought the babies to visit you for the first time."
Shachi smiled in recognition as she passed Avi to Beth Patella-Sambucetti, RN, who also cared for the twins in the NICU.
"Is he still the fussy one?" Patella-Sambucetti asked as she swayed gently with the baby on her shoulder.
Avi and Ishan spent about two weeks in the NICU before going home, but Shachi remained at the medical center for another week and then went to a rehabilitation center for 10 days. She's home now, too, and was also recently discharged from BIDMC's Liver Center.
"Her liver has made a full recovery," said Eric Cohen, MD, a gastroenterologist in the clinic. "Fortunately, she recovered without the need for a liver transplant."
At the celebration, Shachi looked just like any other new mom – maybe a little tired, but positively radiant. No one but her family and the room full of caregivers would guess that only a few short weeks ago she was so very ill.
"I'm very thankful to all of you, especially in those first moments. It was very scary, especially for him," said Shachi, referring to her husband.
"We'll never forget you," answered Barbara Stabile, RN, a Nurse Manager in Labor and Delivery. "We know that."
"Us too," answered Shachi softly.
Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.
Posted July 2012