While one first-time mom’s life slipped away, doctors had only four minutes to bring her miracle baby into the world. The sudden and excruciating loss of Cara, due to complications caused by preeclampsia, is why her family is so dedicated to ensuring new hope for expecting moms in the future.
Cara and her husband, Brett, were eagerly anticipating the arrival of their firstborn, a year after their marriage in sunny Mexico.
The parents-to-be were feeling prepared and had planned for a quiet home birth with their midwife.
At 35 weeks pregnant, Cara was experiencing upper abdominal pain, which she believed to simply be indigestion. However, soon her pain became increasingly severe, causing Cara to vomit profusely. Brett immediately sought help from their midwife.
After hearing Cara’s described symptoms, and audible discomfort in the call, the midwife told Brett to rush Cara to the Foothills Medical Centre.
Upon arrival, Cara remained in excruciating pain and lost consciousness within minutes. The team successfully resuscitated her, but Cara’s blood pressure remained extraordinarily high. Mere minutes later, Cara lost consciousness again, this time going into cardiac arrest.
As the team rushed to save Cara, they also worked to save her baby. They had four minutes.
Cara’s family was turned upside down in an instant. For her mom, Jillian, the possible loss of her daughter and grandchild was excruciating. The joy they had shared over Cara’s pregnancy was quickly turning into a nightmare the family struggled to comprehend. How was this happening to Cara?
Miracle baby Blakely Cara, described by Cara’s mother Jillian as a “shining light and joy”, was born on October 1st. Blakely was not expected to live through this traumatic ordeal, but she was quickly transferred to the care of the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Cara remained in a coma on life support in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). After four days and many brain scans, MRIs, and specialists’ opinions, Cara was pronounced brain dead. It was time to say goodbye.
Less than a week prior, Cara and Brett had been eagerly looking forward to starting life as a family of three, and now Brett and Jillian faced the terrible reality that Cara would not be coming home.
Cara’s cause of death was cardiorespiratory failure, secondary to a hemorrhagic stroke as a result of preeclampsia.
12 days after Blakely was born, Brett took a bittersweet car ride home with the miracle daughter that would bring so much joy to his life, but without the wife and mother they both needed.
Four years later, Cara’s mother, Jillian Young, continues to honour Cara’s legacy by supporting the prediction and prevention of preeclampsia research conducted by Calgary’s Dr. Jo-Ann Johnson. Jillian is tenacious in her advocacy of preeclampsia research and awareness to prevent other families from facing this heartbreaking loss.
Cara’s memory now lives vibrantly through her happy toddler, Blakely Cara, who emulates her mother’s smart, curious and caring personality.
Find out more about how you can Stand up for moms.