It Takes a Team

What 21-year-old pregnant woman thinks her brain will start bleeding unexpectedly?

Brenda Rodriguez was only five months pregnant when she suddenly lost consciousness. Luckily, her sister was there to call 911. She was transported by ambulance to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PVHMC), and, once in our Emergency Department, the team discovered that she had a ruptured arteriovenous malformation (AVM) on the right side of her brain. An AVM is a defect of the body’s vascular system, an abnormal connection between arteries and veins.

As she found herself hospitalized, Brenda realized that in addition to her OB/GYN, Dr. Cuellar, she now had a neurologist, neurosurgeon, interventional neurologist and perinatologist, along with many skilled nurses and therapists, caring for her. This comprehensive team had worked diligently to stabilize her and her unborn baby.

Interventional neurologist, Dr. Sophia Janjua, recalls her care plan, “We placed an external ventricular drain in her brain for the first several days. That, along with excellent treatment in the ICU, allowed for her impressive recovery.”

Following six long weeks of hospitalization and rehabilitation, which included learning to walk again, she was finally able to return home and continue her recovery before the birth of her baby.

A few of months later, on December 1, 2015, Brenda returned to PVHMC and gave birth to Christopher Aiden Rodriguez – a healthy, seven pound baby boy! In regards to the health care she received over the past months of recovery, Brenda most prominently remembered the incredible support, “When you think you are weak, they make you strong.”

Brenda’s perinatologist, Dr. M. Hellen Rodriguez, stated this about Brenda’s ordeal, “I feel so privileged to have been a part of this miracle. When I first met Brenda and her family, my foremost hope was that she would survive. To have witnessed her full recovery and the birth of her beautiful, healthy baby boy is just miraculous.”

PVHMC is proud to have such skilled professionals with the ability to come together and work as a team to help Brenda through her major medical crisis. We are overjoyed that she and her baby are now both healthy and home to enjoy the upcoming holiday season.