Recovery of new mother termed a miracle

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Belief: Stacy Martinez (center) is shown with medical staff members Jason Ramaker (from left), Kim Federico, Jessica Jenkins and Kelley Thompson during a recent reunion at Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point. Not pictured is Sheila Steward. | Supplied photo

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A faithful expression

A card attached to the Believe symbol, which was presented to Stacy Martinez by nurse Kim Federico on behalf of the staff, reads:

BELIEVE

We at St. Anthony’s are rejoicing in a true miracle. On November 17th, we believed in miracles, but didn’t realize we would be praying to God like we never had. “Please God don’t take this Mom who hasn’t seen her two beautiful baby girls.”

As hours passed, hope began to emerge and our hope and prayers came to be a wonderful homecoming for a Mother and baby girls.

I would like to thank you for an amazing will to live, and to God for letting us BELIEVE again and again.

Provided by Franciscan Alliance

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Stacy Martinez recently received a new gift of life that medical staff members at Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point are terming a miracle.

Martinez, 25, of Cedar Lake, had just undergone a Cesarean section, after the need for it was assessed by her charge nurse, Jessica Jenkins. After giving birth to twin girls, Martinez suddenly became unresponsive. Her heart had stopped. It was surmised she had suffered an amniotic embolism, which is said to affect only one in more than 20,000 people, and left her chances of survival at around 40 percent, at best.

Consider those odds beat.

A handful of obstetrics unit nursing staff members are among a larger group of nurses and physicians being credited for helping Martinez survive, although they refuse to accept kudos, instead crediting “a higher power” and prayer for an outcome that “was very much, a miracle.”

So much that one of them, registered nurse Kim Federico, had a “BELIEVE” symbol made, to which she attached inspirational words she penned, and presented to Martinez during a recent, tearful reunion with the nurses, all of whom were ecstatic about seeing Martinez again.

“All of us never stopped praying for you,” Federico said, adding, “I never wanted to see a mom again as much as I wanted to see you. I kept telling you, ‘please don’t go, you have two beautiful new daughters.’ You are our miracle.”

Federico, along with registered nurses Jenkins and Kelley Thompson, and registered nurse anesthetist Jason Ramaker, related how they had difficulty sleeping, eating and concentrating, as they worried about Martinez’s plight after she ultimately was stabilized (her heart was restarted after about six minutes) and then transferred, still unresponsive, to the University of Chicago hospitals for supportive care.

Situation goes bad

Unit director Kathy Podorsek, RN, lauds the nurses’ efforts, along with those of the other staff members on hand that day.

“The patient and her friend (Martinez’s husband is in the military and wasn’t able to be on hand until later) were chatting right after the delivery when things suddenly went bad. She became unresponsive very quickly, which was recognized by Jason.

“A code was called. Kim and Kelley, both neonatal intensive care unit nurses, and OB nurse Sheila Steward, alternated doing CPR,” Podorsek said, “The fact NICU nurses are used to doing compressions only on newborns shows Kim’s and Kelly’s amazing commitment. By the time the code team arrived, the patient was being successfully resuscitated.”

Appreciative patient

Once Martinez was intubated and had a regular heart rhythm, surgery was completed and she was transferred to the intensive care unit, where she received blood, and later to the emergency department, from where she was transferred to the University of Chicago.

Following further treatment there, she was discharged four days later.

“It sounds like the story of someone else,” Martinez said during the meeting with the nurses, adding she has no recollection of her ordeal, although she did recall Ramaker, “who looks a lot like someone I know.”

“I’ve read about so many mothers and newborns who have problems after the kind of trouble I had. Why is there nothing wrong with me and my children?”

Martinez is a former U.S. Army combat medic, a position her husband, Jason, still holds and is based in Texas. After learning of his family’s plight, however, the military has decided to transfer him to the Chicago area so he can be closer to his family, which, to them, is another godsend.

“We’ve always had a strong faith, and what happened has made it stronger,” Martinez said, marveling at the number of people throughout the area she learned had been praying for her.

“So many people I don’t even know cared so much. I am so touched, so grateful.”

Besides reaffirming their faith, Martinez and the nurses agreed the ordeal served to make their holiday seasons brighter.

“I want to thank you guys for saving my life,” Martinez said, through tears. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you.”

Replied Jenkins, “A higher power was at work here – we can’t take credit for it.”

The twins, Mila and Scarlett, have two siblings, Jacob, 3, and Lilliana, 18 months.

Provided by Franciscan Alliance