A 30-year-old woman who shared her fertility journey on social media tragically died while undergoing an emergency cesarean section, Spanish news outlet El Mundo reports.
Vanessa Fernandez Arango began documenting her in-vitro fertilization experience earlier this year on Instagram to help inspire other women who were going through similar situations. Along with her husband, Jonathan Garcia, Arango excitedly posted pictures of baby clothes, ultrasounds and her growing bump to her account, which soon grew to more than 5,000 followers.
Arango had undergone IVF treatment after she experienced complications during two previous pregnancies, leaving her without her fallopian tubes.
“The beginning of the end. The beginning of feeling life and the end of suffering,” Arango, from Bilbao, Spain, wrote in the caption of a picture showing a positive pregnancy test in May. “So here begins our story, our story with a happy ending.”
But in early September, at 38 weeks gestation, Arango fainted while eating breakfast and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors performed an emergency cesarean section, but Arango went into cardiac arrest and died shortly after.
“This morning she was in pain while having breakfast and fainted,” Garcia, 32, wrote in a post on September 2 after his wife was taken to the hospital. “They have taken us by ambulance to the hospital and there they had to do an emergency c-section. The baby is in very serious condition in the ICU and my wife has suffered a cardiac arrest that she could not overcome.”
He added: “I’m sending this because my wife was very caring, and I think the minimum I can do is say goodbye to her like she would have wanted.”
According to Mayo Clinic, while caesarian sections are common and save lives, they involve numerous risks for the mother, including infections, blood clots and postpartum hemorrhages.
While it is unclear what the status of Arango’s health was leading up to her ailment that morning, cardiac arrests during caesarian sections are rare, says a study cited by Medical News Today.
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The study stated one in every 11,749 births resulted in maternal cardiac arrest, and nearly half of all cases were caused by excessive bleeding. Heart failure and amniotic fluid embolism each accounted for about 13 percent of cardiac arrests, and blood infections caused about 11 percent of other incidents.
Arango’s child, a baby boy named Alvaro, survived the ordeal and is recovering at the hospital.
“I do not have enough words to describe how wonderful she was,” Garcia said of his wife, according to El Mundo. “She was unique, a best friend, daughter, companion, wife, and I’m sure she would have been a great mother.”
Garcia has continued to post pictures to his wife’s account, in the hopes of carrying on her legacy and the journey she had worked so hard to share.
“I can finally get something positive. Alvaro is recovering little by little, he still has many tests and will continue for a while in intensive care, but it’s a little step,” the grieving father wrote on September 6. “I never imagined a goodbye message in her honor would have led to such an avalanche of support… I want you to know I will continue with her dream of helping other couples.”