Within our Facebook Support Group, we have many brave, courageous stories from our members and this one we are about to share with you is no exception. With the kind permission of Carla Salzman and in her own words, we are able to bring to you this remarkable story of true determination and bravery in the face of adversity and against all the odds.
It was March the 15th, 1992 and at the time I was living in Marshall, Missouri with my fiancée and my son. I was 6 months pregnant with my daughter Laura and I was working as a Tupperware lady and, like most days, I was on my way to a Tupperware party but little did I know that I was going to be involved in a serious car accident. I have no recollection of the accident whatsoever and still don't up to this day. According to witnesses, the car I was driving flipped over 4 times, but luckily enough I was wearing my seatbelt or it could have been a lot worse.
The next thing I remember was waking up and not knowing what was happening. I didn’t know my name; I didn’t even know that I was pregnant. The EMT’s kept asking me questions, but I was confused and my head, neck and left arm hurt. I was taken by ambulance to the nearest hospital, and I remember being placed on an X-ray table without the neck collar on. There was a nurse pulling on my arms and I cried out in pain. The X-ray technician told me to stop screaming and went to take the X-ray. That’s when someone yelled “STOP” that same technician that had just be rude, came over to me, held my head still and yelled at the nurse. He leaned down next to my ear and apologized. He was suddenly so gentle, and compassionate that I cried. The next thing I remember, I was back in the ER and the doctor and a flight nurse were explaining to me that I had a broken neck and they were going to put my head in traction by screwing something in my head and putting a weight on it. Then I would be riding in a helicopter.
I was life-flighted to the University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia, Missouri. I had a hairline skull fracture, broken neck, broken wrist and bad concussion. The Neurosurgeon explained that my C2 vertebrae had was broken in 3 places, and it was called a compression fracture. It happened from the roof of the car slamming down on the top of my head. Because I was pregnant they couldn’t do surgery until I miscarried. So once the baby died, they would fuse my neck. That’s how I was told that my baby would not be born alive. I was also told I was carrying a girl and I needed to name her. A nurse was assigned to me and suggested that I should see a clergyman. When I told them that I thought I was Catholic, a priest came to see me. Apparently, they didn’t think I was gonna make it either. All I remember of the next several days is pain and the faces of doctors and nurses.
I spent the next 2 weeks in ICU. Each day a technician came in and did a sonogram to see if my baby was still alive. I was never allowed to see the monitor or listen to the heartbeat.
Then one day the technician froze in the middle of the sonogram, she jumped to her feet and ran from the room. I cried...
She came back about 15 minutes later with probably 5 doctors trailing behind her. The head of Obstetrics sat down next to my bed, turned the monitor so that I could see it, and told me my baby was going to live. She had started growing again! He had every faith that she was going to be born alive.
I had now become a problem for my doctor’s, and a record breaker! I was the first woman in Missouri to have the injuries I had, being pregnant, and both mother and baby survived.
I spent 3 more weeks in the hospital. They found a special halo that I could wear while I was pregnant. It was an experimental model designed for extremely obese people. I was the model on the pamphlet for the Brimmer Medical Co. 😁. Despite only being flat on my back for about 6 weeks, it took several days for me to be able to walk, with assistance, but I did it.
I wore the halo until the day Laura was born on June 11, 1992, which was only 10 days before her due date.
A big thank you to Carla for sharing this inspirational story.
The latest expert and patient articles