Pre-Eclampsia Stories - Robyn Harries's Story

Before I start my story I would like to take this opportunity to thank AAPEC for publishing my account. I got my Mum to write this letter as I dictate:

My daughter, Nicole, is now seventeen years old. This is the story of her birth. The due date was 3.9.1988; she did not arrive until 9.9.88 when the doctor induced the birth. Six weeks previously Pre-eclampsia was diagnosed, but nothing was done by the doctor. He assured me I was a fit girl; even though my feet, hands and face were extremely swollen, he said everything would be alright. How wrong can one be!

I was a school teacher – twenty seven years of age – and had left teaching at the end of June to allow plenty of time for relaxation before the birth. After being admitted to hospital, I was induced and sent to a waiting room. I was very sick – vomiting violently – and I requested to go to the delivery room. The doctor was summoned and, upon detecting that the baby was in distress, decided to use forceps and an epidural to lower my blood pressure; unbeknown to me the blood pressure was climbing at an alarming rate and had reached 210/114. I complained of a severe headache. To lower my blood pressure, Pethadine and Nalium were administered. My husband was sent home and I was to have rest. During the afternoon, apparently I had lapsed into a coma and was taken to Intensive Care. The resident doctor was called, and he administered Narcan to reverse the other drugs

Later that evening I was rushed to Prince of Wales Hospital with kidney failure and my liver failing, also still unconscious and deteriorating rapidly. I had had a Cerebral Haemorrhage and a second bleed in the brain stem. A brilliant surgeon, operated in the early hours of the following morning.

I was given no hope of survival, only hours to live. But I survived, thanks to the wonderful nursing under a wonderful Doctor. I was in the Intensive Care Unit for several weeks, and then transferred to Prince Henry Hospital where I lay, still in a coma, for approximately six weeks. I was in Prince Henry Hospital for a further seven months, during which time I had Physio, Occupational and Speech Therapies.

This was a very traumatic era in my life as I had to learn everything again. These bleeds have left me unable to walk, no balance, my right hand badly affected; my eyes, because of the second bleed, don’t focus, and jump constantly – one vertically and one horizontally. As you can imagine, we have exhausted every avenue available, and seventeen years later I am still persevering to regain my life, if at all possible.

I hope my story is helpful to others in similar situations.