Wed | Dec 13, 2017

Thanks for my 'princess' - Mother sings praises of medical team which conducted first blood transfusion on an unborn child at VJH

Published:Sunday | October 29, 2017 | 12:00 AMErica Virtue
Antoinette Williams with her husband Kevon and their princess, Natalya.

Antoinette Williams, the Kingston mother whose unborn child's life was possibly saved by an intrauterine blood transfusion at Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH) in July, has lauded medical personnel at the maternity hospital for the work they did during the 30th week of her pregnancy.

The married mother of five - four boys, and now a daughter - said her child-bearing days are now over, having been blessed with the baby girl who she calls her princess.

"This is my last child and I would like to say thanks to Dr (Orville) Morgan and Dr (Bettina) Paek, and the entire staff at VJH for giving me my princess.

"Thanks for the support from the nurses and the doctors, I appreciate everything they have done for me," said the 37-year-old Williams, who works as a community health aide in the Corporate Area.

Williams said her daughter "is in perfect health", and a plan to send her to the Bustamante Hospital for Children was aborted after the medical team determined that she was fine after birth.

The unborn child's condition became critical after she was determined to be anaemic as the expectant mother was diagnosed with a condition known as Rh-isoimmunization.

This occurs when a woman with Rh-negative blood type is exposed to Rh-positive blood cells, leading to the development of Rh-antibodies. The mom who is Rh-negative produced antibodies which attacked her foetus, causing it to become anaemic.

The baby's blood, which is Rh-positive, is offensive to the mother, who ends up fighting her own child.

 

TRANSFUSION PROCESS

 

The carefully coordinated operation saw negative cells transfused into the baby so the mother's body could stop fighting the unborn child. "The transfusion was done with the needle placed in the blood vessel of the foetus without puncturing the amniotic sac," Morgan told The Sunday Gleaner as he explained the process which was being done at the VJH for the first time.

Thankful for the work of the medical team, Williams is making a plug for the maternal and neonatal unit of the VJH.

"The unit at the hospital is new, and while attending my appointment, I realised that it is in need of some help like equipment and medical materials and so forth. To show thank you to the doctors, I am telling my story so the unit can get help, to help other mothers, because those doctors do a great service," said Williams.

erica.virtue@gleanerjm.com