Pregnant woman delivers baby during heart attack

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) – A pregnant Greenwood woman had to deliver her baby five weeks early after having a rare heart attack during her pregnancy.

At first, Allie Hershberger thought it was muscle spasms or a panic attack.

“I woke up in the morning with pain going across my chest. And it moved into my back and down my arm,” she said.

Hershberger figured the pain was related to her pregnancy, but she called her doctor anyway.

After her doctor told her to go to Community Hospital South, nurses immediately ordered an electrocardiogram, or EKG.

“The apex of the heart didn’t look normal. It wasn’t pulsating correctly. It wasn’t beating correctly,” Dr. Soheila Boyer, Hershberger’s OB/GYN, said.

A medical team of about 30 people took over and helped Hershberger in the cardiac catheterization lab. Dr. Boyer said the danger to mother and child was significant.

“Because of the possibility that she was going to go into cardiac arrest while she was getting catheterization, we weren’t even sure if she was going to make it off the table,” she said.

Hershberger gave birth to a 6 pound, 8 ounce baby girl named Samantha on Feb. 6. The baby was delivered quickly and given to her dad, Adrian.

Doctors found Hershberger had a blood clot, so surgeons put a stent in an artery.

Three months following the incident, mom and baby were doing great on Tuesday.

“I think this has really made us appreciate life and having a little one around. We definitely do not take anything for granted,” Hershberger said.

Dr. Weinberg said having a heart attack during a pregnancy is very rare. She said about five out of 100,000 women experience a heart attack during pregnancy.

Hershberger had none of the usual factors associated with heart problems. Her cholesterol and blood pressure were normal and she didn’t smoke.

Doctors said if you don’t feel well, don’t wait. Call your doctor immediately because it could save your life.

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