Shropshire

Oswestry heart attack mum and baby home for Christmas

A Shropshire mother who had a heart attack while pregnant and spent two weeks in a coma after giving birth is looking forward to spending her first Christmas with her new baby.

Tina Tookey, from Oswestry, had a heart attack when she was seven weeks into her pregnancy with her son Ryan.

The 30-year-old mobile carer's health problems started on Boxing Day in 2009 when she broke her ankle.

She developed deep vein thrombosis and was prescribed the drug warfarin to thin her blood and prevent blood clots forming.

After a leg scan she was given the all clear and came off the warfarin. A short time later she discovered she was pregnant.

Heart attack

But seven weeks into her pregnancy she went to hospital in Shrewsbury complaining of chest pain.

She said: "I thought it was indigestion, they (the hospital) sent me home but the next day there was really bad pain in my chest and arm.

"I phoned Shropdoc (medical helpline) and they said 'Get to hospital'."

The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital sent her to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire where a scan revealed the heart attack had been caused by a blood clot lodged in the centre of her heart.

She was given injections of heparin to treat the blood clot and prevent more forming.

At 30 weeks she said she could not feel her baby moving so was admitted to hospital in Shrewsbury on 19 May where she was told she would need to undergo an emergency caesarean section.

Mrs Tookey had already undergone a caesarean section when she had her daughter Kelly so at first it did not worry her.

Medically-induced coma

Image caption The family is looking forward to spending Christmas together after Ryan came home from hospital

She said: "They said they would have to put me to sleep because of the heparin so they could control the bleeding.

"I woke up some two weeks later in Leicestershire Hospital. When they got Ryan out they found lots of blood clots and my lungs collapsed.

"They put me into a coma in the ITU (Intensive Care Unit) and I was in Shrewsbury Hospital over a week then I got really poorly and they lost me a couple of times.

"They sent me to Leicester where I was on an ECMO machine over a week still in a coma."

The ECMO machine provides cardiac and respiratory support for people whose heart and lungs cannot function unaided.

She finally came home in June but Ryan was to spend seven months in hospital before he was released earlier this month.

He was suffering from necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) a condition which can affect premature babies where the intestines become infected.

He had to undergo four operations and have all but 20cm of his bowels removed. He is being fed through a nasal feeding tube but doctors are hopeful his gut will stretch and he will not need to undergo a bowel transplant.

Mrs Tookey said: "He's had quite a few operations in his life so far. He's absolutely fab and seems to be doing rather well.

"We weren't expecting him to be home at Christmas, that's a miracle on its own.

"On 3 June they told my husband and parents we (Ryan and Tina) were both going to die but we've both come through it."

Just a few days after Ryan came home Kelly, 10, had to go to hospital when she broke a toe.

"She obviously didn't want to be left out!," Mrs Tookey joked.

The family had yet more bad news when husband Daniel, 27, was made redundant from his job as a car mechanic.

Despite everything they have been through the family are looking forward to Christmas together.

"We'll basically be enjoying it as a family because we never thought we'd be here right now," she said.

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