Meet Kristen McConnell
Kristen McConnell knew something was wrong. But neither she nor her physicians could fully grasp what it was.
Less than 24 weeks into her pregnancy, Kristen experienced unexpected bleeding. A diagnosis of placenta previa was made; her placenta was too low in her uterus and too close to the birth canal. A doctor near her home suggested she transfer to Parkland, about a half hour away, “just in case," he said.
Within 24 hours of arriving at Parkland, the bleeding intensified. Kristen had an emergency C-section and a partial hysterectomy. The baby's placenta had been connected to an artery, and Kristen required a body and a half of blood transfusions to keep her alive.
"Parkland has delivered so many babies," Kristen says. "They've seen most everything. But I had something they'd never seen before. It was all of those heads working together and that blood supply that saved my life.”
After more than eight hours of surgery, Kristen pulled through. And so did baby Kate.
“I know God was guiding me every step of the way," Kristen says. "He placed me in all the right hands at all the right times.”
Three years have passed since Kristen's experience. Kate is a happy and healthy little girl, and the family still keeps in touch with some of the Parkland staff.
"The doctors and the nurses I had at Parkland were just phenomenal," Kristen says. "They really made an impression on me."
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Pictured above, Kristen visits the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Parkland with her family in the summer of 2011.