POTTSTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – A Pottstown mom is famous on TikTok with videos of her near-death delivery and the remarkable medical intervention that saved her and the baby.
Mom reunites with baby for the first time after a death-defying birth, footage has gone viral on TikTok.
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Childbirth at Paoli Hospital was routine until Kayleigh Summers “started screaming that something was wrong with my heart.” Summers, who lives in Pottstown, became an instant social media sensation when she decided to share her story.
“I had cardiopulmonary arrest so my heart stopped and I stopped breathing,” she said.
The baby was delivered by Caesarean section within minutes, then Summers was placed on life support and transported to Lankenau.
“She has had a very rare thing called amniotic fluid embolism, which is something you really can’t predict and usually doesn’t end well,” Dr. Mara Caroline said. “It usually ends with the death of the mother and the baby. “
Caroline had to tell Summers’ family that the healthy new mother might not survive.
Dad must have met the baby alone.
“Not knowing if he should raise our son on his own,” Summers said.
Life-saving interventions included ECMO, a machine that maintains blood flow, and a tiny heart pump called Impella that allows the heart to rest and recover.
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“Getting her on these machines kept her body alive to perform the function of the heart while the heart was doing nothing,” Caroline said.
Six days later the machines were removed, Summers was fine, and he was told what had happened.
“It was absolutely shocking,” she said.
And here’s the baby, Callahan. He is 2 years old now.
Summers says she wanted to share her story on TikTok to raise awareness and help other women who have experienced birth trauma.
“Birth trauma is something that happens to so many women and it’s kind of kept in the dark,” she said.
For Summers, who has made a full recovery, there was also a hysterectomy, necessary to save her life.
“The emotional effect of dying, being resuscitated and not being able to have children anymore has been a difficult recovery but mixed with gratitude for being here and watching my son grow up,” Summers said.
They have quite a story to tell Cal someday, a story millions of people are already sharing on TikTok.
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For more on the history of Summers and his support group, Click here.