Miracle mum raising awareness for rare pregnancy condition

Michelle Murray celebrated the first birthday of her baby son Lennox a little differently to most new mums, launching a blood drive at the Newcastle Donor Centre.

michelle murray

After losing her entire blood volume during the delivery of little Lennox, the 24-year-old would not have been alive to see the milestone without crucial blood donations, having received five days’ worth of transfusions post-delivery.

The blood loss was the result of an undiagnosed condition called Placenta Increta, which Michelle had been unknowingly suffering from throughout her pregnancy.

Placenta Increta is a potentially life-threatening condition that causes the placenta to invade the uterine wall. Complications arise when the placenta embeds itself too deeply into the uterine wall and penetrates the myometrium – the middle layer of the wall.

When Michelle’s waters broke at her Belmont home, she soon discovered she was losing blood as well as amniotic fluid.

After rushing to John Hunter Hospital with her partner Aarron for a planned caesarean section, doctors found she was suffering from placenta praevia – a severely low-lying placenta, meaning the incision would need to be made through the placenta.

Michelle’s blood pressure plummeted and she began vomiting and screaming in pain.

‘‘I felt completely out of control,’’ Michelle says.

After hearing her baby boy’s cries she was taken back into theatre where she required multiple resuscitations and received an emergency hysterectomy to cease the bleeding in her uterus.

‘‘A midwife told me how lucky I was to be alive and that she couldn’t believe I made it to full term,’’ she says.

Because Michelle’s condition wasn’t picked up during her pregnancy, had she not been able to attend a large hospital and receive blood transfusions equal to around 56 donations, Michelle would not have survived the ordeal.

Which is why she began her campaign to raise awareness of Placenta Increta as well as the need for blood donations for women and babies during labour.

The blood drive will run until Christmas time.

“The majority of the people we’ve had donating were first-time donors and they all couldn’t believe they had never done it before,’’ she said.

‘‘It only takes a short time, it’s so easy to do and it might save someone’s life.’’

Despite the ordeal, the mum-of-three is now healthy and thrilled to have been able to celebrate the first birthday of her “little miracle”.

“We are truly blessed,” says Michelle.

“Lennox is 13 months old today.

“I was named hunter hero last week from my local newspaper which was very exciting.”

To donate to Michelle’s blood drive, visit your nearest Red Cross and inform the donor team you’d like to allocate the donation to the ‘‘Lenny’s Heroes Red Group’’.

michelle murray

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