Monroe mother cheats death, holds infant son for the first time

When a pregnant mother from Monroe arrived in the emergency department with chest pains caused by a high-risk medical condition, she was mere minutes from losing her own life and likely never going to meet her unborn child, officials said with Carolinas HealthCare System. 

They said Danielle had less than a one percent chance of surviving in the operating room.

Six hours in the operating room with a team of more than 15 nurses and doctors, and a 111-day recovery, allowed just that – she got to meet her baby for the first time in June, healthcare officials said. 

Danielle’s son, K.V., was born prematurely and is now a healthy baby at home with family. Danielle continues to grow stronger in the hospital. In normal circumstances, she would have died. But, CMC said their team made the call to unconventionally perform two surgeries at the same time.

Doctors delivered her baby and she received emergency open heart surgery, saving two lives.

Danielle remains in rehab at Carolinas HealthCare System. 

Background on Danielle's condition from CMC:

  • Danielle has Marfan Syndrome, which causes pregnancies to be high-risk. In Danielle’s case, the main artery to her heart tore, cutting off the blood supply to her organs and her child. Medical protocol in these instances almost always recommend saving the mother first.
  • In a rare case, Jeko Madjarov, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon and a team of surgeons made the decision to save both by performing Danielle’s life-saving open heart surgery and deliver her baby in late February. 

Watch the video here