CHANDLER, Ariz. - For as long as she can remember, Darcy Carhill wanted to be a mom. So when she was on her way to the hospital to be induced at 37 weeks, she couldn't wait to welcome her daughter into the world.
"I was really nervous," Darcy said. "I'd been nervous my entire pregnancy for giving birth in general. I was terrified."
But the unexpected was about to happen and nothing could've prepared her for the moment she would die right before delivery.
"I was so distraught, because I didn't know what had happened," Darcy said. It was an event so traumatic that Darcy's husband has to fill in the details nearly three months later.
"Something is wrong with my wife," Beau Carhill said he called out to the doctors and nurses at the hospital. "I need somebody in here right now."
In serious trouble, Beau says Darcy seized at the hospital after being induced.
"Next thing they're saying is 'all right clear, we're going to shock her' and I'm like 'OK, I can't stay in here anymore,'" Beau said.
Beau said Darcy's heart stopped. She died and her daughter was still inside of her.
"I'm freaking out," Beau said. "I'm afraid that I'm going to lose my wife and my newborn."
Beau said doctors at Banner Gateway Hospital performed an emergency C-section that saved baby Aria. Then it was time to save mom.
"It's very rare to see a mom have a cardiac arrest during labor in delivery," Dr. Michael Foley, who's with the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix, said.
Darcy didn't know she was suffering from QT Long Syndrome. It's a rare genetic heart condition Dr. Foley estimates effects about one in every 200,000 pregnancies.
"The oxygen flow to the coronary arteries stop the effect of the oxygen getting to the muscle of the heart and then the muscle of the heart can die," Dr. Foley said.
Today, Darcy wears a pacemaker and said she feels better than ever. She's thankful for the amazing medical team that saved her and her baby girl.
"There's going to be a connection between me and her for the rest of my life," Darcy said.
A connection she will forever be grateful for.
"Even beyond just her being my daughter and knowing that she's the reason I'm still here today, I 100 percent believe that she saved my life," Darcy said.
Darcy said she will have to see a cardiologist for the rest of her life and her OBGYN told her she's healthy enough to have more babies in the future.
Baby Aria is now being tested to see if she has the same heart condition.
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