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Simone Pavils with
her baby Noah who
was born in March.
Simone's brave story of survival
BY SARAH KOLAR
When Simone Pavils was told there was a high chance she might not survive the birth of her second child, she prepared to
say goodbye to her family.
"The night before the delivery I stayed up until
3am writing letters to my family, outlining funeral
and financial details and recording videos for my
husband and children," the 28-year-old said.
In November last year, 20 weeks into her second
pregnancy, doctors at Flinders Medical Centre
(FMC) told Simone they suspected she had
placenta accreta -- a condition in which the
placenta attaches to the uterus (at the site of a
previous caesarean scar) and the two cannot be
separated at birth without major blood loss.
Not knowing anything about the condition,
Simone rushed home to do some research.
"I was told that I needed to be on pelvic rest and if
I had a bleed I would need to come directly to the
Emergency Department of the nearest hospital,"
"I left the hospital hysterical -- I broke the news
to my mum and husband but none of us truly
understood what I was facing.
"As the weeks went on, I learnt more and more
about accreta -- what it was, why it happened, the
risk factors, diagnosis and treatment.
"I felt like a ticking time bomb as I waited for this
big bleed I had read about."
For Simone and her husband Dale, this was not
the first time they had dealt with a complicated
Their daughter Isabella, now two, was born
almost four weeks early via caesarean section in
2012, after Simone faced heart failure caused
by a congenital heart condition -- Bicuspid Aortic
In late February 2014, doctors booked Simone in
to have her second caesarean section at almost 36
weeks gestation -- on 13 March.
However, further complications brought her
delivery brought forward by a week to 7 March.
"Numerous doctors and nurses visited my room
that morning and I signed numerous forms
giving permission for certain things including a
hysterectomy if it came to that.
"I had come to terms with what was going to
happen and had prepared myself to the best
of my ability for those that I would leave
"I had to have absolute trust in my
medical team and I did."
The couple's second child Noah was born that
day and was taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care
Unit where he was intubated for 12 hours.
Simone made it through the five hour surgery,
which ended in her having a caesarean section
hysterectomy and a 25cm vertical incision up the
middle of her abdomen as the baby had to be
delivered through the top of the uterus.
She lost 1500ml of blood, 800 of which was
cleaned and returned to her via a cell saver
"After the operation, doctors confirmed I had
placenta increta -- the second stage of accreta --
and the blood vessels in my placenta were the
size of the doctor's finger and thumb," she said.
Following her experience, Simone has started
raising money to travel to Tennessee in the USA
later this year for the first Hope for Accreta
She then plans to set up an Adelaide base
for the Foundation to provide support
for women diagnosed with the
"At the conference, I want
to meet other survivors and
doctors that specialise in the
condition so I can help to
create more awareness about
FMC's Head of Birthing and
Assessment Dr Steven Scroggs
is one of three FMC doctors --
backed by an extensive support
team -- who perform caesareans
on mothers with the condition. The hospital sees
about 10 cases each year.
"Flinders is a specialist centre for this condition
and patients often get referred here because of
our expertise," Dr Scroggs said.
"This condition does carry risk of maternal death
but we mitigate this risk by having a team of experts
available for each of these procedures including
anaesthesia, blood transfusion, urology, vascular,
bowel, intensive care, gynaecology and neonatal."
He said babies are normally delivered at 34-36
weeks and in most cases the mother is required to
have a hysterectomy.
To donate, visit Simone's fundraising
simoneshopeforaccreta or email spavils@
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