Alana Tesch’s third pregnancy had gone fairly smoothly. The birth of her son, Griffin, at Aurora Medical Center – Grafton was also relatively uneventful. But the placenta wouldn’t come out, so the obstetrician began to remove it. That’s when Alana started hemorrhaging.
“I heard the doctor say I was losing a lot of blood, and they didn’t know where it was coming from,” she recalled. “The atmosphere in the room changed. No one was panicking, but it was definitely tense.”
The obstetrician told Alana she’d need emergency surgery to stop the bleeding and that she might have to have a total hysterectomy.
“I got emotional at that point because we’d always planned to have four children. But, of course, I’d rather not die,” she joked.
There was a hurried goodbye to her husband, Charlie, who was left holding their newborn son.
“He told me he loved me and that everything would be fine. But he was worried he’d never see me again.”
Alana was in surgery for two hours. The placenta had adhered to a previous c-section scar and torn during the delivery. The tear was repaired, and the bleeding stopped. She’d lost a third of her blood volume but didn’t need a hysterectomy.
“We can have our fourth child after all; I’ll just need to have a c-section,” she said.
When Alana was released from the intensive care unit and was back in her room, the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and several nurses who had cared for her came to visit. It was an emotional reunion.
“A lot of us were crying because we were very aware of how close I came to not being here anymore.”
The role of donors like you
When Alana started hemorrhaging, the team at Aurora Grafton knew exactly what to do because of extensive education and training funded by donors.
“Every year, our entire department practices different emergency scenarios with a pregnancy mannequin,” explained Erica Deuser, RN, who was part of the team that saved Alana’s life. “One of those sessions was a situation when massive blood loss occurs.”
Training builds confidence for when a real-life emergency occurs. It’s helpful for everyone, but especially for newer nurses and team members who may not have dealt with such emergencies yet.
“It’s stressful, but you’ve already gone through the motions. You’ve done it before, so you click into work mode. No one panicked in this case. It all worked out perfectly,” said Erica. “It was actually one of the smoothest emergencies in my career.”
How you can help
The training that saved Alana’s life was made possible through donations to the Education and Leadership endowment.
“She could have died, she was losing that much blood,” said Erica. “If we didn’t get her into surgery and find the cause of her bleeding, it could have been a much different outcome.”
Alana is forever grateful to her care team – and to donors who helped make it possible.
“I can’t imagine what my husband would have done with three small children on his own,” she shared. “You kept a family together.”