In the time it would have taken Chance McCall to drive his wife to the hospital, he could have lost both his wife and the baby.
Thankfully, the McCalls weren't at home, and in 12 minutes, about 20 doctors, nurses and other medical professionals turned what could have been a fatal situation into a tiny miracle of life known as Addyson Grace McCall.
“For this patient, in this situation, it absolutely is that she was in the right place at the right time,” said Dr. Chris Schultz, an obstetrician and gynecologist at The Children's Hospital. “The pieces came together, and everyone worked as a team and took care of her and her baby.”
Roseanna McCall was sitting in a hospital bed at The Children's Hospital on June 28 when she thought her water broke.
Instead, McCall experienced a placental abruption, a premature separation of the placenta, which nourishes the fetus, from its attachment to the uterus wall before the baby is delivered, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Placental abruption, which includes any amount of separation of the placenta before delivery, occurs about once in every 150 deliveries, according to the NIH. But the severe form of abruption that McCall experienced occurs only in 1 out of 800 to 1,600 deliveries.
Roseanna McCall's due date was Sept. 27. The abruption wasn't something anyone had suspected might occur.
Chance McCall had just left the room and closed the bathroom door when he heard his wife gasp and heard someone say the word “blood.”
McCall, a staff sergeant in the Air Force, has seen his fair share of blood in combat, but he wasn't prepared for what he saw when he came back into the room.
“Literally, in 15 seconds, there was blood from her waist to the foot of the bed,” he said. “I was almost in shell shock myself.”
Roseanna McCall's pregnancy had its up and downs from the beginning.
In January, she started having abdominal pains and went to the emergency room. After several tests, medical staff told her she either had a thyroid issue or was hypoglycemic.
But in February when she returned to the doctor, she found out her white blood cell count was off — and that she was 14 weeks pregnant.
From there, things went well for McCall and her baby — until late June. She started feeling dizzy on June 21 and learned from the doctor she had high blood pressure.
She was admitted to the hospital and received two steroid shots. Doctors later said the shots might have sped up Addyson's lung development and contributed to her survival.
After a few days in the hospital, McCall was discharged June 24 with a prescription for Procardia, a blood pressure medication. But she soon learned she was allergic to the medicine.
She was again admitted into the hospital June 27. Doctors placed her in a high-risk pregnancy birthing suite because of the issues around her high blood pressure.
“That's when we were told, ‘You're going to be here for the rest of your pregnancy. We don't expect anything to happen until about 33 weeks.'”
The next day was the first day of her third trimester. That morning, she had a few ultrasounds and was maintaining a steady blood pressure. A few hours later, she went into labor.
Had McCall not been in the hospital when she experienced the placental abruption, doctors suspect she and Addyson would not have made survived.
Twelve minutes passed between the time the abruption occurred and when Addyson was born.
Doctors had to work fast against the risk of losing the baby and possibly Roseanna.
Roseanna had lost a lot of blood, and the placenta was no longer supplying Addyson with oxygen, food and life support, said Dr. Anne Wlodaver, a neonatologist at The Children's Hospital who was one of the several medical staff assisting with the delivery.
“When we got the baby, we got a little limp body with no life in her, and she was extremely white, constricted, a little heart rate, but that's about it,” she said.
The newborn brain can tolerate a lack of oxygen for only about three minutes. Wlodaver assigned roles to her team, and five people went to work attaching an emergency umbilical cord to get baby Addyson's heart rate up.
“If (she) had been born some other places, there may not be a baby,” she said.
Addyson McCall weighed one pound, eight ounces when she was born. She remains in the neonatal intensive care unit at The Children's Hospital.
Doctors have said, based on the tests they've run, her brain development is fine, and Addyson doesn't appear to have been affected by the rushed delivery.