Image: Kymberlie Shepherd and Wayde Kelly (via Facebook)
Kyden Thomas Bede Kelly entered the world last Thursday, 16 October.
On that same day, his mother — Kymberlie Shepherd, 26 — tragically left it. During her labour at a Perth hospital, the high school teacher started to feel light-headed as she began to push. Minutes later she died. A rare complication known as an amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) had caused fluid from the amniotic sac to enter her bloodstream.
Kymberlie’s devastated fiancé, Wayde Kelly, 26, described her harrowing final moments in an interview with Perth Now.
“I was holding her hand and I looked away for a second, and she just let go of my hand and had a bit of a fit. I was watching her lose colour. It’s something I’ll never forget. The last thing I saw was the smallest nurse jump on the gurney and start giving chest compressions and at that point I felt sick.” he said.
"None of the doctors there had ever seen this happen - we are all just in complete disbelief and shock," Wayde told Yahoo.
In his more than 20 years as an obstetrician, Dr Gino Pecoraro has encountered this rare complication just once.
“It’s very, very dramatic when it happens ... it comes on suddenly,” Dr Pecoraro, who is based in Brisbane and is on the board of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, explains. “One minute the woman’s talking to you normally; the next she’s unconscious.”
Fortunately, in Dr Pecoraro's case, the patient survived. However, the “cascade of events” triggered inside the body when amniotic fluid, which contains cells that have shed from the baby’s skin and carry certain chemicals, enters the bloodstream can be catastrophic and, sadly, fatal.