RTÉ Home makeover for a woman who was partially paralyzed after giving birth and her heart stopped for 44 minutes
Shortly after giving birth to her fourth baby in June 2020, Laura Costello’s heart stopped beating for 44 minutes. She was taken to intensive care – after a rare birth event called amniotic fluid embolism.
In the first few months of recovery from the episode that left her partially paralyzed, her husband David brought their infant son Daniel to their hospital room and gently placed their baby on her chest.
“It was really nice to see Daniel lay on Laura’s chest and start breathing with Laura,” David said, describing how their breathing would instinctively syncronize. “In the first year, Laura held her baby less than 52 hours during that time; I had to take Daniel to intensive care.”
Despite all expectations, she returned to her home last November thanks to the intervention of to her children Thomas (7), Matthew (5), Sophie (4) and baby Daniel, who is now 21 months old, and stepson Dylan (11). RTEs DIY SOS: The Big Build Ireland.
Hundreds of volunteers worked to convert their home in Santry, north Dublin, into an accessible, open-plan home where Laura, who is confined to a wheelchair, can read bedtime stories to her children.
Craftsmen, gardeners, architects, interior designers and dozens of neighbors and friends tore out the original interior design and transformed their home into a stunning, intelligent estate that responds to voice commands and touch-button phone controls.
Laura told show host Baz Ashmawy her goal was to “walk again,” before adding, “I’ve done most of the things the doctors said I can’t do.”
As her husband David walked her through their newly decorated home with Baz, an emotional Laura told him she could “feel the love” of people who had worked around the clock for more than 10 days.
On the show, David describes how Laura gave birth to Daniel in the early days of the pandemic, and hospital rules meant he couldn’t be by her side during labour.
The medical physicist described receiving a frantic call from Laura on June 30, 2020, saying, “She dropped the phone while she was talking to me and the midwife picked up the phone and said, ‘You need to come upstairs, Laura is going to have the baby.’”
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David arrived and within two minutes Daniel was born quickly. “Then I checked and there was Laura and she just rolled her eyes and her teeth just bit down on the thing that she had in her mouth and she just stopped breathing,” he said.
“They said it was something that’s probably called an amniotic fluid embolism, which is a very rare birth event that causes that sudden maternal collapse where the heart stops and everything else. Laura’s heart stopped for 44 minutes and they said it just started spontaneously.”
He recalled being told she was “clinically disappeared.” “Not many people survive what Laura went through. As a result, Laura was left almost as if she had suffered a stroke.”
Before giving birth, Laura worked for the Alzheimer Society of Ireland after caring for her own mother who had dementia. “I’m still here because of my mother; My mom watched me from heaven for 44 minutes,” Laura said DIY SOS. “She also helped me deliver a healthy and perfect boy before my heart stopped.”
Remarkably, Laura, who spent more than a year at the National Rehabilitation Center after three months in intensive care, has never felt that life was unfair to her. “We got through the last year, we’ll get through anything,” she says.
She told the volunteers they made it possible for her to come home to be the “wife and mother that my family desperately needs.” “Thanks to everyone’s kindness, we got a great second chance at a great life.”
DIY SOS: The Big Build Ireland airs tonight at 6:30pm on RTÉ One
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/television/rte-home-makeover-for-woman-left-partly-paralysed-after-she-gave-birth-and-her-heart-stopped-for-44-minutes-41538371.html RTÉ Home makeover for a woman who was partially paralyzed after giving birth and her heart stopped for 44 minutes