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by Cherie
sub - 10/12/01

I am very thankful for everything the doctors did, but if they had known what HELLP was I am not sure that it wouldn't have been so bad.  I am a freak at our University hospital.  The university of Pittsburgh is a great hospital but they had never seen anyone with HELLP Syndrome before. 


Cherie's Story

I developed Hellp Syndrome with my 3rd child.  I had a pretty normal pregnancy.  At 33 weeks I began retaining water.  I mentioned it to my Dr., but they just blew it off as another complaint of a miserable pregnant lady.  
I was 36 weeks and 6 days when I developed what I thought was gas pain.  I had alot throughout this pregnancy and just thought it was more.  I tolerated the pain for almost 24 hrs.  I called my Dr. in agony and she said come to the ER to be checked out.  On the way to the hospital I developed a headache like I have never imagined.  

By the time I got in the ER and upstairs was about 15 minutes.  They took my BP it had risen to 210/180.  They decided to do an emergency c-section.  Didn't even have time to tell my husband what was happening.  
When I woke I could not see right.  I had extreme blurred vision.  They monitored me in the labor and delivery area for a day, then moved me to the recovery side for the next two days.  My condition never got better. They were treating me with the magnesium sulfate for preeclampsia.  I went into renal failure.  They decided to transfer me to a downtown
hospital which specialized in women and babies.  
At this time my family had been told it didn't look to good.  The hospital didn't want to keep me due to I had already had the baby.  I was then transferred back and forth to two other hospitals (which ever had room in the ICU).  I then started to have seizures.  I was put on Dilantan but they had no idea what was causing them.  I had a kidney specialist who
suggested a brain problem. My liver count went completely out of order.  My Alt went as high as 2808 and my AST went to 1784.  My body would not release toxins.  I was intubated for 3 days.  

On the Monday before I delivered I weighed 167 at my dr. appt.  I delivered on Thursday night.  On Sunday I weighed 182.  I had 2 platelet replacement treatments for my blood.  On Tuesday the doctors told my husband to call in my family.  At this time they told him I would not make it.  
An hour later the professor of neurosurgery tapped him on the shoulder in the waiting room and said there were two things they could try to help.  My MRI showed my cerebellum had swollen so bad it was pressing against my brain stem.  This was causing my seizures and had a big part in the renal failure.   They drilled a hole in my head to relieve the pressure in my head.  A catheter was inserted at 4:00 in the afternoon.  

After the drain was in and flowing, they say I was asking for
a popcycle at 2:00 am.  What a difference 10 hours can make. 
From there I was kept in ICU for 3 more days with the drain in my head.  I asked to be weighed.  I then weighed 150.  I had lost 32 pounds in 4 days, all fluid that my body would not release.
My little boy was born at 3 lbs. 8 oz. 17 inches long, and pretty healthy just skinny.  He just turned 3 months old and is just about 10 lbs. now.  I have had a time trying to fix my liver.  I had so many blood test and my liver function tests would just keep rising.  I have a liver specialist who did a liver biopsy, ct scan and an ultrasound.  My results are in for the biopsy which he said my liver was hit with trauma and has a mild
case of necrosis.  It is showing signs of rejuvenating it's self.  
My brain specialist had taken me off dilantan in fear that's what was causing my liver functions to be elevated.  But my EEG still showed activity, no seizures but activity.  They said I had massive brain swelling and activity is normal.  It could take 6 months to a year for it to settle down.  
I also just had surgery on my throat.  From being intubated I had a granduloma growing on my vocal cord.  It will hopefully not come back.  

I hope my story can help someone.  It is nice not to be alone.  Thanks for letting me share my story.
Cherie Mazutis

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