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Post On Friday, February 15, 2013 By Becky Whitman
Â On November 10, 2012, my familyâ€™s lives changed forever.Â My sister and brother in law, Rikki & Nick Ziska were expecting their first child, a baby boy.Â Â
Â A little background:Â Rikki is 35 years old.Â She has an auto immune disease (Ulcerative Colitis).Â On November 7th, she had an appointment to have her monthly Remicade Infusion at the Med Center here in Omaha.Â Before beginning the infusion, her blood pressure was unusually high, so they called her Ob/Gyn to let him know.Â He requested that she go to the hospital for monitoring of her pressure.
Â Rikki was kept overnight on the 7th for monitoring as they could not get her pressure to come and stay down at normal level.Â Thursday, November 8th was more of the same; terribly high blood pressure in the stroke range high!Â After that, the doctors finally found a medication that seemed to be working well and keeping her BP down around normal range.Â We all thought she was in the clear and would most likely just be on bed rest for the next several months.
Â I stopped at the hospital when I got off of work on Thursday around 5:30 p.m.Â My sister, Nick and I were talking and laughing when the nurse stopped in and asked if it was ok if the doctor stopped in to talk for a minute.Â A few minutes later, a new Ob/Gyn stopped in.Â This was the first time that Rikki and Nick had met this particular doctor.Â She began the conversation by telling Rikki that she had something called HELLP Syndrome (Hemolysis, Elevated Liver Enzymes, Low Platelet Count).Â Â
Â HELLP Syndrome is a life-threatening pregnancy complication usually considered to be a variant of preeclampsia. Among pregnant women in the United States, 5 - 8% develop preeclampsia; 15% of those women develop evidence of HELLP syndrome (15-20% of those with severe preeclampsia), meaning as many as 48,000 women per year will develop HELLP syndrome in the US.Â Â
Â Dr. Kovilam told Rikki and Nick that the only option was to deliver the baby or Rikki could possibly die, within days. Her liver, heart & lung functions had already begun to deteriorate. They told her that there was not much of a chance that the baby would live because she was only 22 weeks along.Â Rikki and Nick decided to go ahead begin the inevitable-they would begin to start labor.Â They were told that the baby would most likely be born alive, but had to weigh at least 450 grams to intubated if he was struggling to breathe.Â Â
Â Rikkiâ€™s health went downhill very quickly all through the night Thursday and Friday.Â At 1:46 a.m. on Saturday, November 10, 2012, Reid Nicholas Ziska was born into heaven at 11 inches long and weighing 425 grams (15 oz.). Our lives will never be the same after losing such a perfect miracle.
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