Doctors were immediately concerned about both her life and the life of her unborn baby. She was 38 weeks pregnant.
"I was scared about my baby," Ruiz-Ruiz said.
After some tests, doctors diagnosed Ruiz-Ruiz as having a spontaneous coronary artery dissection and realized her heart was dying.
"This is a very rare case, and unfortunately, a lot of these patients will not survive," Dr. Lenny Losasso, Ruiz-Ruiz's obstetrician, said. "We had to get going because every minute really made a difference."
The hospital quickly woke up sleeping surgeons and brought in teams to perform two surgeries, an emergency cesarean to deliver the baby and a heart bypass surgery to save the mother's life. Both surgeries were performed within minutes of each other.
"This is the first time in my career that it's happened," Dr. Ram Nene, Ruiz-Ruiz's cardiac surgeon, said. "As we've mentioned, this is not a common thing that you can just go to a textbook and read about."
"I asked Dr. Losasso to get the baby out as quickly as possible. We actually didn't close the belly, but closed the uterus, and then we got to work on the chest," Nene said.
Both Ruiz-Ruiz and her newborn son, Victor, survived the surgeries and went home just five days later.
The Medical Center of Aurora says since 1931, only 300 cases of spontaneous artery dissection have been diagnosed. Most of those are only diagnosed during an autopsy.
(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)