Nothing was out of the ordinary when Melanie Pritchard went into labor with her second child, but then something went awry, and she was pronounced clinically dead. But just when it seemed all was lost, her brother, a doctor, saw something that changed the outcome.
“Her OB/GYN came in, and saw that she was progressing. And broke her water to try to speed up that as well. And Melanie started complaining that she didn’t feel well. Then I see her kind of slump over to one side. Her eyes roll back, and she starts convulsing,” Melanie’s husband, Doug, said.
Doug looked over at the monitors, and the display went to zero. A “code blue” was called by staff, and Melanie was immediately rushed to the operating room for an emergency C-section.
Doctors discovered that Melanie had amniotic fluid embolism (AFE), a rare condition where amniotic fluid enters the bloodstream of the mother and results in cardiorespiratory (heart and lung) collapse and massive bleeding.
“My wife was clinically dead when they delivered my daughter,” Doug told the Christian Broadcasting Network. “They thought there was absolutely no way that she could come back.”
She was moved to the ICU where she lay unconscious. During that time, Doug saw his healthy, newborn daughter for the first time, and she was named Gabriella.
“It was probably the most bittersweet moment I’ve ever felt in my life,” Doug shared.
Melanie’s brother Orazio Amabile, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon, went to the hospital to try and help with his sister’s condition.
“They got her to the ICU and she was extremely sick. And she wasn’t getting better. She was getting worse,” Orazio said. “She was in a state of cardiovascular collapse. You don’t survive stuff like that.”
The doctors told the family to prepare to say their goodbyes, as Melanie’s prognosis was not good.
Orazio then discovered that Melanie’s low blood pressure was, in fact, caused by internal bleeding, so she was rushed for another operation.
“The chances were very high that she was going to need a heart and/or heart-lung transplant. They thought that she would have some serious neurological impairment,” Doug said.
Everyone in the room prayed for Melanie. Her family and friends sent out messages online asking people to help pray—and the online community answered. “Pray for Melanie” even trended on Twitter in 2010.
The following day, after her final surgery, Melanie was able to breathe on her own, and after a week’s time, she was released to go home.
Melanie’s recovery astonished both doctors and her family. There were no side effects, no neurological effects, and no cardiac effects; she was completely normal.
“Her recovery’s a miracle. Her survival was a miracle,” Doug said. “I think it’s very clear that God answers prayers.”
Melanie herself doesn’t remember the events that transpired at the hospital. Though, she recalls waking up and wondering what happened. When she was told the story, she was amazed by all the support she received from around the world.
“I believed in the power of prayer, but now that I’ve lived through the power of prayer, I believe it a 100 times more,” Melanie said.
Watch Melanie’s story here:
Photo Credit: Video Screenshot | CBN.
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