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Defying the Odds: Casey and Baby Jax's Miraculous Journey from Second Chances to New Beginnings


Every mother's pregnancy journey is different. Casey, a mother of four, recalls the births of each of her children fondly, even amidst the complications she experienced. Yet none of her deliveries was scarier than the birth of her youngest son Jax last November.

Casey remained vigilant throughout her pregnancy with Jax, having experienced preeclampsia, gestational hypertension, and complications with Type 1 diabetes while pregnant with her first three children. Despite fluctuating insulin-related challenges, she considers her pregnancy with Jax to have been more "normal."

Casey had a history of giving birth prematurely, almost always at 37 weeks, but with each baby already weighing between eight and ten pounds! Jax made his entrance on November 22, 2023 at 36 weeks and 8.6 pounds. Following his birth, Casey's journey took a turn, leaving her and her family to face a whirlwind of emotions and concerns for her own well-being and that of Jax.

After delivery, Casey experienced an amniotic fluid embolism (AFE), a rare but potentially life-threatening complication where material from the womb gets into the mother's bloodstream and can cause serious complications. At the same time, she also experienced several other grave complications, including renal failure and DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation).

Almost immediately, Casey went into cardiac arrest and needed to be resuscitated and intubated for over 24 hours in the ICU. In the days that followed, Casey was transferred to and from the Maternity Unit and ICU, having received a blood transfusion, a battery of diagnostic tests, and dialysis.

While Casey was facing her own challenges, Jax received care in the NICU. Drawing upon her maternal instinct, she was able to see Jax for a few brief moments, though she barely remembers meeting him, given her state at the time. Thankfully, both Casey and Jax received incredible care - from the nurses in Labor, Delivery, and Recovery to the ICU and the NICU, to her Obstetrician, Dr. Lauren Matsnev, who delivered Jax, and the assistance of Dr. Lev Belder and Dr. Jared Tepper in the operating room, along with a team of other physicians, anesthesiologists, technicians, and others who were involved in this life-saving experience.

Looking back on her journey, Casey recalls "I woke up on Thanksgiving in the ICU. I had absolutely no recollection of being prepped or giving birth. You never think going in to deliver a baby that you're going to experience the worst possible scenario; you go in thinking, this is going to be the best day of my life. Above all, I've learned not to take a single thing for granted because you never know what tomorrow will bring," said Casey.

Coincidentally, just one week before baby Jax entered the world, Casey's aunt passed suddenly. To this day, Casey believes that she and baby Jax were being looked after in many ways, not only with the amazing, life-saving medical care they both received at Holy Redeemer Hospital.

Thankfully, the future has brought much brighter days for Casey and her husband Keith and their four children, namely Jax. At five months, Jax is "the best baby ever," he already has his first tooth and he's rolling over. He wants to be just like his older sister and brothers, Pippa, Bo, and Ace.

As for Casey, she is doing well. Following discharge, she continued to have her blood levels monitored for six weeks to make sure they were moving in the right direction. She continues to see a nephrologist who monitors her kidney function, which has also greatly improved.

In addition to reveling in her role as a loving mother and wife, Casey is committed to raising awareness about AFE. The quick actions taken by the Labor and Delivery, ICU, and NICU nurses and doctors at Holy Redeemer Hospital are a true testament to their skill and expertise, with AFE affecting roughly one in 40,000 women with dire mortality rates for both mom and baby.

"I really do take it in when people tell Jax and I that we are literal miracles," said Casey.

To find an OB/GYN near you, click here. If you're expecting a new baby, be sure to visit RedeemerHealth.org/MaternityCare to take a virtual tour of Holy Redeemer Hospital's Labor and Delivery unit, access helpful educational resources and videos, and join our Redeemer Baby Online Community.