30/04/2014 13:45 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Mum 'Died' For Two And A Half Minutes While Giving Birth


A mum's heart stopped for more than two and a half minutes during the birth of her fourth child.

Rachel Morris, 31, lost six litres of blood and effectively 'died' during the traumatic emergency C-section to deliver baby James.

But now, 11 months on, both mother and baby have made a full recovery.

Rachel said: "I really can't believe what happened. I was incredibly poorly, but having James was totally worth it."

Rachel's problems began at her 20-week scan, when it was discovered she was suffering with placenta praevia - a condition which means the placenta is covering the cervix.

As her pregnancy progressed, doctors decided to keep her in hospital for the last eight weeks of the pregnancy, or until the baby was born, for both of their safety.

But on the first night she was in hospital, Rachel woke up in agony and covered in blood. An emergency operation was carried out under general anaesthetic and doctors delivered baby James and then tried to remove the placenta.

But at this point, they discovered the placenta was attached to an artery. As a result, she began to haemorrhage and her heart stopped beating for two-and-a-half minutes.

With her life hanging in the balance, the only way to save her was to remove her womb.

Rachel said: "I was put on a life support and blood bypass machine so all the blood I lost could be pumped straight back into my body.

"My husband, Kevin, had been outside the whole time with my mother and was hysterical - he saw nurses running past with bags of blood and knew they were for me.

"The doctors told them to prepare for the worst - it must have been awful for them."

Remarkably, just five days after Mrs Morris's terrible ordeal, she was able to go home.

But because baby James was born eight weeks early he had to spend four weeks in hospital before he was able to go home as well.

Rachel said: "I feel so blessed to be here after what happened and to be able to look after my four precious children.

"We will be celebrating James' first birthday next month and it will be a great marker to show how far we've both come."