Miracle baby, mother doing just fine after coma scare

Michelle Stuckey
November 12, 2010 at 9:52 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Khris, Nevaeh and Kristy Pfister pose for a family photo.
Khris, Nevaeh and Kristy Pfister pose for a family photo.
After a six-week induced coma and treatment for acute respiratory distress syndrome, a Des Allemands woman miraculously gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

Now 10 months old, Kristy Pfister's daughter Nevaeh - heaven spelled backwards - is the light of this recovering mother’s life.

“I would definitely go through any of it again because she’s the joy of my life,” Pfister said.

Pfister's pregnancy was a miracle from the very beginning. The 25-year-old had been trying to have a baby for years when she finally got pregnant.

“All my life, I always wanted to have kids and was never able to conceive because I had endometriosis …the doctors said I needed to have a hysterectomy,” she said.

But before the surgery, she decided to try one last time to have a baby and finally conceived.

Seventeen weeks into the pregnancy, Pfister came down with what she thought was a cold. When she started having trouble breathing, her family took her to the emergency room where she was diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, which can cause severe injury to the lungs and extreme difficulty breathing.

Doctors decided to put Pfister into an induced coma until her lungs could recuperate.

During the coma, the baby’s vital signs remained normal and Dufrene’s lungs began to slowly recover. After six weeks, she was woken up from the coma very weak and with some memory loss.

After repeated trips back to the hospital and a difficult, tiring pregnancy, Pfister finally gave birth to a girl at 38-and-a-half weeks into the pregnancy.

“She wasn’t too premature,” Pfister said. “I went to the ER having lung problems again…I thought it was my lung collapsing, but it was…extra fluid in my body that can be deadly to me and the baby because the blood pressure gets too high.”

Doctors decided to perform an emergency caesarean section, or C-section.

“They were expecting her to have severe problems or deformities, but she’s doing really good,” Pfister said.

While the baby was born healthy, she was also born addicted to a pain killer called Fentanyl.

“Doctors couldn’t take me off of (Fentanyl) during the pregnancy because there was a chance it could kill the baby,” Pfister said.

The baby was in the hospital detoxifying from the medicine for five weeks.

“She was born addicted to it. That was really hard on me mentally, even though it wasn’t my fault and I hadn’t done anything wrong, as a mom you don’t want to see your child go through that,” Pfister said.

Pfister was also addicted to the medication after the pregnancy, but had to detox at home while her parents took care of Nevaeh.

Getting over the addiction was not the only problem Pfister faced when she came home after the pregnancy. She still suffered from many side effects of ARDS and the coma.

“I had to learn to walk all over again…I couldn’t really use my hands because I didn’t have any muscle strength,” she said. “The coma also caused memory loss…and taking care of the baby just wears me out.

“My lungs will take up to three years to heal and there’s still a chance I can catch pneumonia or ARDS again, even though it’s rare.”

But Pfister said she is recovering, slowly but surely, and that she and husband Khris Pfister are so happy to finally have a baby.

“We love her to death,” she said.

View other articles written Michelle Stuckey

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