Landstuhl’s fetal specialist saves young mother’s life

Spc. Todd Goodman
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center

***image1***The only maternal fetal specialist in the European military community saved a young mother’s life earlier this year at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.
Air Force Lt. Col. M. Bardett Fausett, the maternal fetal specialist at LRMC, heard the code blue labor and delivery on the overhead pager when Air Force spouse Andrea Green’s heart stopped just after she delivered a healthy baby girl Jan. 24.
Cardiac arrest. She was dead.
Colonel Fausett said he thought a blood clot was to blame. Quick action had to be taken.
“Within eight minutes of calling the code her chest was open and I was doing open-heart massage,” said Colonel Fausett. “I knew if I squeezed hard enough we could free the clot.”
With her heart in his hand, Colonel Fausett squeezed and massaged the failing muscle. Pressure caused the clot to push through and she soon regained a pulse.
The pulse came and went, as her heart stopped beating several times. After five hours of resuscitation efforts and massive doses of medication, she began to stabilize.
By the next morning she was responding and answering questions.
“It’s amazing,” said Mrs. Green, 22-years-old. “I really don’t know what to say. Everything that has happened to me hasn’t fully kicked in.”
Mrs. Green cannot remember a month before or after her delivery. The ordeal left her with a weak heart and some spinal problems, which hopefully will improve in the future. Colonel Fausett filled in the details about her second chance at life.
“I woke up one day and asked him what had happened,” she said. “He sat down for two hours and told me. I was beside myself. I knew there would be complications, but I never imagined I would die five times.”
“Honestly, I don’t think anyone else would have cracked her chest,” said Colonel Fausett. “I know the word ‘miracle’ gets tossed around a lot, but this was a miracle. It was a complete hospital effort, and I feel honored to have been a part of it.”
Mrs. Green is recovering well in Las Vegas. She and Colonel Fausett communicate via email on a regular basis.
“It was a very personal and sacred experience for me to have her heart in one hand and the other on her aorta, saying, ‘C’mon Andrea. C’mon,’” he said. “She made me promise never to lose touch and I won’t. There is a bond there that is hard to explain.”
She said the feeling is mutual.
“He holds a special place in my heart,” she said. “I owe my life to him.”