Rare condition takes mom's life during childbirth

AURORA - The mother of Declan Jay Bugal died shortly after giving birth to what doctors at the Medical Center of Aurora described as a 7-pound, 4-ounce-miracle.

During labor on Nov. 3, doctors discovered that Declan's mother, Karisa Bugal, had a rare condition called amniotic fluid embolism.

"The amniotic fluids surrounding the baby or part of the baby's skin or hair gets into the mother's bloodstream and that causes catastrophic shutdown of all the organs," Dr. Kelly Gerow said. "We don't know how to prevent it. We don't know how to keep it from happening at all."

Medical experts say around 1 to 12 mothers in every 100,000 deliveries have amniotic fluid embolism. According to Dr. Gerow, the condition is so rare it hasn't been extensively studied. Many of the mothers who develop the condition do not survive.

In Karisa's case, Dr. Gerow explained the grim prognosis of amniotic fluid embolism during labor.

Before Karisa experienced symptoms of the condition, doctors noticed her unborn baby's heart rate started to dip, meaning his life was also at risk.

Doctors say Karisa knew her decision would be critical, so she chose the fastest option, cesarean with anesthesia. It would be the last decision she would ever make.

"Her other option would have been to stay awake for her surgery, but by the time we would have put in a spinal tap or something it's possible Declan would not have made it," Dr. Gerow said.

After surgery, Dr. Gerow said Karisa asked about her baby and asked how much he weighed. She eventually passed away.

Wes Bugal, Karisa's husband, said words can not describe the challenge of moving forward with a toddler, a newborn and no wife.

"How do I explain to him that his mom is gone giving birth to him? I think about that all the time," Wes Bugal said. "How do I explain when he asks where's mommy?"

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Bugals. You can find that here: http://bit.ly/1BKxUOF

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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