A Mother’s Journey

Alison Wissen knows first-hand the importance of receiving the right care at the right time. During her third pregnancy, Alison was diagnosed with a high-risk condition, placenta accreta. Faced with a myriad of complexities and the high-risk nature of her pregnancy, she remained resilient and hopeful despite the long road ahead.

Read Alison’s letter and first-hand account of how OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria saved her life.

It’s not an exaggeration to say OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria saved my family. My husband and I were thrilled when we learned we were pregnant with our third child.

Like so many families we assumed this next step would be routine, after all I’d already done this twice.

But at 24 weeks I began to bleed and was diagnosed with the most severe type of placenta accreta. I was transported by Life Flight helicopter to the antepartum unit at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. I quickly found myself on bed rest an hour and a half from my family in Cornell.

Life as I knew it changed.

The strain of being separated from my family quickly took its toll. My worry for them, myself and our baby were hard to control. But God gave me the greatest gift, the nurses in the antepartum unit. There are not enough words to describe them. They are caring, helpful, gracious and so much more.

To them I was a person, not just a patient. They routinely went the extra mile. On the weekends, the nurses moved a cot beside me for my husband. They learned my cravings and brought me milkshakes from the “outside world.” My family was even able to hold a birthday party for my five year-old son in my room. The sense of normalcy they afforded me and my family was a bright spot in a long journey.

Seven weeks after being admitted, I began to bleed again. At just 31 weeks, my family welcomed our daughter Gwendolyn. However, our joy at having a daughter was put on hold. I was immediately rushed into a 6-hour hysterectomy surgery. After everything my body had been through it wasn’t a routine procedure.

I needed 16 units of blood and woke up on a ventilator 24 hours later.

I remained in the hospital for three weeks. Our baby remained in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for one month. It wasn’t an easy journey and there were many bumps along the way, although eventually we did get to our happy ending (or rather beginning) for our growing family.

I am thankful every day for the care, dedication and passion that all the physicians, nurses and hospital staff gave to me and my family. Without OSF Saint Francis Medical Center our story could have been very different.

Alison Wissen

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