Memorial Had the Teams and Technology to Help Maria Go from Deathly Ill to Full Recovery
September 05, 2022
Maria described herself as a “very healthy person.” After her cesarean section in Ecuador, everything was going well, but that night Maria couldn’t breathe. Things began to worsen, so she was put on life support, and the family decided to fly Maria to South Florida and transport her to Memorial Regional Hospital.
“Our first thing to do was to stabilize her,” said I-wen Wang, MD, Chief Adult Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program. “She was very sick with multiple systems of her body in failure. She was literally dying in front of our eyes.”
“She required support both for her heart and her lungs,” said Lance Cohen, MD, Medical Director, Adult ECMO Program. “If she wasn’t on ECMO, her heart wouldn’t have had the opportunity to rest and to heal. She wouldn’t have survived.”
With ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), blood is pumped to a heart-lung machine that removes carbon dioxide and sends oxygen-filled blood back into the body.
Maria said, “the staff, the nurses, the doctors, the compassion” were all “amazing.” “They always gave me words of hope, which was a game changer for me.” Now Maria is back with her family in Ecuador.