UHealth Doctors Save Mother and Unborn Baby after Life-Threatening Uterus Rupture

At 28 weeks pregnant, Joy Miller was enjoying a normal pregnancy. Just a few weeks earlier, Miller and her husband John Dorvil had celebrated a sex reveal party that confirmed they would be the proud parents of a second baby girl due July 24.

“I was feeling great, and everything was going fine,” recalls Miller. “Everything was going according to plan. We were excited, and planning our baby shower for June.”

In the last week of April, the 33-year-old mom, who is a patient care tech at Jackson Memorial Long Term Care, started feeling unusual movements and kicks from her unborn baby.

“I felt the baby moving a lot; her kicks were getting more aggressive every time,” remembers Miller. “I didn’t think it was normal, and I felt like the baby was trying to tell me something.”

Miller decided to rush to the Jackson North Medical Center’s Emergency Department to make sure the baby was all right. Further ultrasounds and MRI’s revealed that Miller’s uterus had ruptured – a very rare condition, which could cause the death of the mother and unborn child.

In Miller’s case, images showed her baby remained inside the placenta sac, but was floating in her abdominal wall. Miller was immediately transferred to the Women’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where Salih Yasin, M.D.,

University of Miami Health System obstetrician/gynecologist at Jackson who specializes in high-risk pregnancies, took over her care.

On May 2, a multidisciplinary team of UHealth specialists, including neonatologists, staffed the operating room at Jackson Memorial Hospital for the emergency Cesarean section and hysterectomy.

“This is where we had the best people around,” Yasin, professor and Vice Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Miller School of Medicine, said at a press conference with the medical team and family on June 15 at Holtz Children’s Hospital. “Within a few hours we were able to assemble the operating room, blood bank, the advance gynecological surgeons, and the intensive care unit for the baby in the trauma center, and we were able to in that room accumulate around 45 people to be able to take care of her.”

Baby Janelle Marie Dorvil, who weighed two pounds, 11 ounces, was immediately taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Holtz to receive care.

Teresa Del Moral, M.D., a neonatologist with the University of Miami Health System who was on the medical team, said Janelle’s survival is a true miracle.

“I’ve been going to deliveries for over 30 years and this is the first time that I’ve seen a baby alive from an abdominal pregnancy,” she said. “’This could have had a very dramatic outcome but they delivered a baby that was a premature baby but was healthy otherwise.”

Even though the baby was named Janelle Marie, Miller says everyone has given her the nickname “Miracle.”

“After I woke up from my surgery, I finally got to see pictures of my baby girl and broke down in tears,” said Miller. “She saved me, and she also saved her life. I am glad I did not ignore her signs.”

Baby Janelle Marie, who now weighs four pounds, six ounces, is breathing and feeding on her own, and will finally get to go home on Monday, June 19.

“I’m so thankful to Dr. Yasin. He’s truly a miracle worker,” said Miller. “I knew that my baby and I were in the best hands.”

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