The United States ranks 50th in the world for maternal mortality rates. That means, as much as we pride ourselves on being the world’s leader when it come to healthcare, there are 49 countries that have fewer mothers die during childbirth than the U.S.
While some argue that it is because reporting procedures have changed, the U.S.’s maternal mortality rate has increased over the last 25 years: According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 1987, the rate of maternal mortality in the U.S. was 6.6 deaths per 100,000 live births. In 2010, it was 12.7 deaths per 100,000 live births.
It seems incredible, doesn’t it? And really horrible. At what is supposed to be the happiest of moments, a life can end as another is beginning.
A friend posted a story on Facebook yesterday that reminds us how fragile we all are.
What should have been Kathryn and Gabe’s Tigerman’s best day has turned into what feels like an ongoing nightmare. Following a long labor and subsequent C-section to deliver their daughter, Kathryn began hemorrhaging and went into septic shock. Her organs shut down. After 12 days of dialysis and other emergency procedures, Kathryn stabilized. Alice was in NICU for 10 days and is now home.
Though she’s stable three months after Alice’s birth, Kathryn is far from back to normal. She was readmitted to the hospital in July for an infection and conquered that. A few weeks ago, she came off dialysis. But in an update a few days ago, it looks like Kathryn’s recover has some more dramatic twists. Doctors are now fighting to save her hands. When she went into septic shock, blood clots formed in her hands and have caused gangrene. Kathryn receives hyperbaric oxygen treatments and physical therapy and soon will begin a series of reconstructive surgery on her hands as doctors try to save as much of hands as they can. And if they can, she will be able to hold her baby, Alice.
Friends of the Tigermans have started a GiveForward account to raise money for the family’s expenses and medical bills not covered by insurance. The family is $115,898 toward the goal of $200,000, but there’s only 24 hours left to go.
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