Sandy Toth?s family thought she was overcome with grief when she fainted while making funeral arrangements for her father. Her daughter, Kristen Wilkinson, asked the funeral home to call an ambulance after she couldn?t help her mother stay on her feet.
?I thought she was having a panic attack,? said Kristen. ?I kept asking her to talk to me, focus on her breathing, but then she passed out and I knew something more serious was happening.?
The ambulance took Sandy to the Emergency Department at Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center (PSJMC) in Joliet where she would stay overnight for observation. The next morning when her blood pressure had dropped down to the 40?s, Dr. Bhavin Shah, PSJMC Surgical Oncology, was called to examine Sandy. Her Hemoglobin had gone from 13 to 7.6.
?She was clearly losing blood so I transferred her to the ICU,? said Dr. Shah. ?We could tell there was some retroperitoneal bleeding on the CT scan and interventional radiologist Dr. Noah Schwind embolized several arteries that fed the active bleed before I took Sandy into surgery. I was finally able to stabilize the area and stop the bleeding. We were very concerned?Sandy lost about 4-5 liters of blood by now which is about all of her blood volume.?
Over the next two weeks it was touch and go as Sandy lay heavily sedated in the ICU on a ventilator.
?There was a moment when I thought that we were going to lose my mom,? said Kristen. ?I cannot give enough praise to Dr. Shah and the ICU nurses and staff that supported and cared for not only my mom, but also my family.?
There was one more person that Sandy needed to thank. ?I know dad was looking out for me, he was my guardian angel.?