Sharjah: A Filipina mother who nearly died through pregnancy complications has thanked doctors in a Sharjah hospital for the “miracle” treatment that saved her life.
In March, Marlyn Sampiano, 36, who was 30 weeks pregnant, was admitted to Zulekha Hospital Sharjah. She was suffering from shortness of breath and a fever after a lower respiratory tract infection.
For the first two days, she was treated with oxygen therapy and antibiotics.
“Due to the severity of her respiratory distress, however, she was transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU),” said Dr Maged Abulmagd, ICU head at Zulekha Hospital Sharjah.
Initially treated with non-invasive ventilation for 24 hours, staff placed a breathing tube into Sampiano’s windpipe due to complications caused by a collapsed lung.
During her stay in intensive care, she was diagnosed with H1N1 influenza pneumonia. This was further complicated by acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
Due to “severely high risks” to both mother and baby, her pregnancy was terminated.
“The baby’s chance of survival was extremely low and we provided mechanical ventilation support as a trial to save the infant,” said Dr Betty John, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist.
“Unfortunately, the newborn passed away later due to the multiple complexities.”
The team of doctors continued to attend to Sampiano, but her condition worsened and she went into septic shock after only a few days in recovery.
She experienced multiple organ failure which required invasive procedures.
But then, she began to respond well to treatment. She was extubated after two weeks with residual myopathy, a situation where the muscular functions were hindered, which later improved with frequent physiotherapy.
“This is a rare survival and exceptional life-changing experience for Mrs Sampiano,” said Dr Islam Essam Eldin Elkousy, specialist, Critical Care Medicine.
“The reported mortality rate of such cases ranges from 37 per cent up to 92 per cent considering the complexities and number of affected organs.”
Sampiano is now at home in Sharjah after recovering her vital organ functions. “I am very thankful to the doctors and the nursing team at Zulekha Hospital as they have ensured I can stand on my feet today,” she said.
“It is a miracle. I am able to do my routine tasks now and I’m leading a healthy life with my husband and son.”