Pregnant mother gets life-saving heart surgery, C-section at the same time

Pregnant mother gets life-saving heart surgery, C-section at the same time

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - When Danielle Gaither arrived at the hospital in Monroe with chest pains, she was minutes from losing not just her own life, but the life of her unborn child too.

Gaither was quickly diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome by doctors at Carolinas Medical Center. The condition causes high-risk pregnancies. In Danielle's case, the main artery to her heart tore, cutting off blood supply to her organs and her child.

She had a less than 1 percent chance of surviving surgery. In most cases, medical protocol recommends saving the mother first. But CMC surgeon Dr. Jeko Madjarov and his team made the call to try and save both lives.

With a team of 15 surgeons and 6 hours in the operating room, it worked.

Danielle's baby K.V. is a healthy boy and currently at home with family.

Danielle has spent months in a rehabilitation facility gaining strength and recovering from a condition that nearly killed her.

In June, after 111 days of recovery, she saw her baby boy for the first time. The reunion was caught on camera. Danielle, still very weak from her condition, held her son for the first time and gave him a kiss before passing him back to his father.

It's a story that almost didn't have a happy ending. But thanks to a life-saving decision by a team of doctors, Danielle is getting ready to head home for the first time since February.

Doctors expect her to be released on Monday.

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