George Cormack was 33 when she almost died giving birth to her twins. But the brave mom not only survived four heart attacks and a severe stroke but also learned to speak again within a year after the stroke left her speechless.
Last June George was expecting a twin boy and a girl and was at the Colchester General Hospital, Essex for the delivery. But doctors soon found that she had amniotic fluid embolism – a fatal condition that affects one in 20,000 women.
The amniotic fluid which surrounds the baby in the womb, accidentally enters the mother’s blood stream in this condition triggering an immediate allergic reaction in the body.
When George delivered her first baby Oscar, her heart stopped and she suffered a bilateral stroke. When Connie came out, the newborn wasn’t breathing and had to be resuscitated by doctors.
George was then induced to coma to help her body survive the heart attack and the stroke.
When the new mother finally started to recover, she could not speak and the stroke had damaged the vital part of the brain that controls speech.
The new mom recalls,
“When I should have been celebrating the happiest event of my life I was at a loss to know who I was, where I was, what I was doing there. I was unable to understand all these strange noises people around me were making.”
But she was not ready to give up. She has struggled to regain her speech in the last ten months and is now happily looking after her babies at home, with her husband Sean. She says the past months were like walking up very slowly as she re-learned the alphabets and practiced object recognition.
She added, “It has been traumatic and I’ve been through every emotion imaginable these past 10 months. But more than anything else I feel lucky.”
Her speech therapist Alison Wren says the mom’s recovery is inspirational.
“I would set George a week’s worth of therapy and she would have it done in a day. I’ve never known anyone so determined. I found it totally inspirational.”
She adds, “It was one of the most severe strokes I have come across and for her to come back from that position to where she is today is quite amazing.”
But George says it is all thanks to the team of experts who helped her all the way.
“Without the help of a lot of people, I wouldn’t be telling this story now. The consultant who saved my life, and my babies, while working with the crash team, the theatre staff, the midwives, the special care baby unit staff, the critical care unit who nursed me back to consciousness, the stroke unit and the neuro rehab teams…”
She added, “Also I am just so fortunate to have had my speech therapist and her colleagues helping me every inch of the way. I cannot begin to stress how much work they have put into helping me recover. They are incredible unsung heroes.”