Mum, 21, 'almost dies' after giving birth following placenta poisoning

Caroline Allen
Contributor
Her placenta slowly "poisoned" her causing a blood vessel in her brain to burst. [Photo: Caters]

Mother, Katie Shirley, from Manchester has said she “nearly died” following an infection contracted during her pregnancy.

The new mum was poisoned by her own placenta after it became infected with a harmful bug.

Doctor’s told her she was lucky to be alive after she had a stroke in her bathroom seven weeks after giving birth to her daughter, Olivia.

The bug entered her bloodstream during pregnancy, which slowly moved towards the brain, triggering an aneurysm.

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She underwent emergency surgery in a bid to reduce the pressure building up on her brain, which led to the bulging blood vessel rupturing and causing a stroke.

Katie's daughter, Olivia, is now one. [Photo: Caters]

According to the NHS, two in five people die after contracting a a subarachnoid haemorrhage, the type that Katie suffered from.

She spent two days in intensive care and a further six days in hospital after doctor’s sufficiently relieved the pressure on her brain.

The mother-of-two, who deems herself “lucky to be alive” said: “I had a normal pregnancy apart from having anaemia but when I got to 36 weeks I started bleeding heavily.”

“My mum Caroline was at my side constantly and thankfully doctors realised I needed an emergency C-section as my baby was in danger.”

“Olivia was born two-and-a-half weeks early on December 7, 2018, and she was treated for an infection as my placenta had already decayed.”

This was just the beginning of Katie’s ordeal, though.

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Olivia was born two and a half weeks early. [Photo: Caters]

“I remember feeling as though I was going to have a panic attack, my heart was racing and I felt all of my sense heightening.” Katie said, speaking about her experience.

“It was terrifying but before I knew it the room had gone black and I was unconscious.”

“After this doctors finally realised something sinister was going on, I'm just so thankful to my mum as at one point, after my first seizure, I was being advised to go home before we pushed for the first CT scan which showed the aneurysm.”

The woman shared her thanks for the NHS, which she said she was “very grateful” for.

She wanted to tell her story in order to highlight some of the lesser known things that new mums can go through.

According to the NHS, symptoms to look out for can include:

  • a sudden agonising headache – it's been described as a "thunderclap headache", similar to a sudden hit on the head, resulting in a blinding pain unlike anything experienced before

  • a stiff neck

  • sickness and vomiting

  • pain on looking at light

Half of those who survive the same type of haemorrhage Katie did are left with severe brain damage or disability as a result.

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