Patient Heroes: Niolys
Ariel Collazo brought his wife, Niolys Garcia, to Trillium for the birth of their second child, Jacob. She was in the midst of labour when things began to go very wrong. Her heart stopped beating, her lungs were struggling and she was bleeding heavily. Niolys had an amniotic embolism, an obstruction caused by amniotic fluid that was blocking a vessel. Such embolisms are one of the leading causes of death during childbirth.
The obstetrics team performed a vacuum-assisted birth to save the baby then transferred the mother to Intensive Care. Rapid lab testing was conducted in preparation for immediate surgery while security personnel cleared the halls to rush the patient into the operating room. Dr. Gopal Bhatnagar, chief of staff, performed chest compressions on Niolys along the way.
Anaesthetists and the cardiac team put Niolys on a heart-lung machine and perfusionists kept her blood oxygenated. Cardiac surgeons performed the delicate surgery to clear the vessel and restore healthy blood flow. Instantly the changes in her condition showed on the electronic monitoring system – Niolys had survived her ordeal.
It took the creativity and excellence of many to save this mother and baby. The culture of integrity and teamwork at Trillium enabled everyone to perform at their best when the stakes were highest. Today, Niolys and her son are alive and well thanks to the highly-skilled, dedicated specialists at Trillium’s Hazel McCallion Centre for Heart Health.