A woman who went into a coma when she was pregnant was devastated when she awoke three weeks later to learn her baby had not survived.
Kerry Tellwright, 34, has shared her heartbreaking story, explaining the surprise illness that caused her spleen and liver to rupture, and nearly claimed her life.
Kerry had spent years trying for a baby with her fiancé, Craig Hill, 47. The couple had tried IVF, and had already mourned the miscarriage of twins.
So when Kerry discovered she was pregnant with little boy, Archie, she couldn’t have been more delighted.
However it all changed one morning when Kerry woke up with a sore arm. Expecting it to be nothing more than the result of sleeping funny, she tried to put it out of her mind.
‘Ten days later it was still there and I also started to feel quite sick. I just knew something wasn't right so I called the maternity ward and they told us to come in,’ she writes on her Instagram page.
On the way to the hospital Kerry had a sudden seizure, forcing Craig to pull off the road, and call an ambulance. She had suffered three seizures by the time she arrive in emergency.
‘When I got to the hospital my blood pressure was through the roof. They gave me something to slow it down and rushed me in for an emergency caesarean.
'When they opened me up my uterus was completely white from where I had bled out internally and Archie was stillborn at 8.55pm.
'When they tried to find why I'd had the bleed they discovered that my liver and spleen had ruptured.’
When Kerry awoke three weeks later it was a lot to take in.
’I knew, as soon as I realised Archie wasn't with me, that he had died. It was such a scary place to be in.
'I thought I was going into hospital to give birth to him so to wake up with nothing was heartbreaking.’
Archie had been kept in a cool cot, and Kerry was able to hold her baby boy’s body.
‘It was amazing. He was my baby boy. I had wanted him for so long and he was finally in my arms.'
It turns out that Kerry’s shoulder pain was a symptom of liver failure, which was caused by a condition called HELLP syndrome. HELLP (haemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelet count) syndrome can occur in expectant mothers. It’s characterised by high blood pressure, and protein in urine.
However since Kerry had neither of these early signs, she wasn’t diagnosed until it was too late. She says had she known shoulder pain was associated with liver problems she maybe wouldn’t have passed it off so readily.
She’s now determined to raise awareness of the condition that robbed her of her baby.
'If I can save one baby or stop one mum having to go through what I've been through, it'll be worth it.'