Mothers give back to patients with rare, serious pregnancy condition

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Friday, July 28, 2017

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It can be a frightening experience for any mom-to-be to learn half way through the pregnancy there are complications.

That's what happened with two women who shared similar experiences that ultimately brought them together as friends. And now, they're giving back to others who have been diagnosed with the same condition.

Crystal Vinal said her third pregnancy was not like her first two.

"At 29 weeks, I experienced a large bleed and I was transported to Texas Children's to begin a three-week stay," she recalled.

Leah Hood's fourth pregnancy was alarming too.

"I was Life Flighted from College Station because I had another bleed, and then I stayed at the Women's Pavilion until 32 weeks," Hood said.

Both women were diagnosed with a form of placenta accreta.

Dr. Karin Fox, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, said it occurs most often in women who have had prior cesarean deliveries. The condition can lead to very heavy bleeding, invasion of other structures and the need for surgery in order to deliver safely.

"Usually, the placenta attaches to the uterus, kind of like its velcroed in place, and it comes out after the birth. With accreta, it's almost like it's super glued in place, doesn't want to detach," Dr. Fox added.

After most deliveries, patients have to undergo a hysterectomy.

"We were pretty much sure our third child would be our last, but I won't tell you that was a hard decision," Vinal said.

The experience brought Vinal and Hood together as friends. Knowing what others are going through with their condition, they came up with a way to give back by creating gift baskets to hand out to mothers-to-be here at the Pavilion for Women.

"It becomes your home. It becomes the best place for you and your growing family," Vinal said. "We're just trying to provide some necessities to take care of you emotionally and spiritually as well."

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