Mom who nearly died after giving birth shares moment she met newborn son: 'Luka and I needed each other'

A Missouri mother who almost lost her son at 8 weeks pregnant due to a rare complication and then underwent life-saving surgery after his premature birth said it was the nurses who arranged for her to meet her newborn baby before she went in for the operation who helped save her life two years ago.

The moment Luka, who was having trouble breathing on his own, met his mom, who was headed for a high-risk potentially life-saving surgery.

The moment Luka, who was having trouble breathing on his own, met his mom, who was headed for a high-risk potentially life-saving surgery. (SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital)

“Luka and I needed each other, and we needed to meet each other,” Sharee McCoy, who suffered massive blood loss after Luka’s birth, said. “She could potentially have saved both of us,” speaking of the nurse who brought mother and son together.

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Luka, who was born at 31 weeks gestation and was having trouble breathing on his own in the NICU, was able to be weaned off oxygen when he was brought near his mom for the first time, and then began breathing without assistance while he was on her chest.

Both Luka and his mom began recovering after their meeting, which his NICU nurse called "the best miracle I've ever witnessed." 

Both Luka and his mom began recovering after their meeting, which his NICU nurse called "the best miracle I've ever witnessed."  (SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital)

“I didn’t heal Luka, his mom healed Luka, and I think Luka helped to heal Sharee,” Chaela Kinney, Luka’s NICU nurse at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, said. “It was the best miracle I’ve ever witnessed.”

McCoy and Luka began beating the odds just eight weeks into her pregnancy, when it was discovered that she had a cesarean scar pregnancy, which is threatening to both the developing fetus and mother.

“They said that my life would be at-risk if I would continue with the pregnancy,” she said. “They did have one alternative surgery if I decided to go with it, but there was no guarantee it would work.”

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Dr. Cristian Campian, the SLUCare Urogynecologist at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, said the procedure had never been done before, so he had no blueprint to go with ahead of McCoy’s surgery. The procedure was a success, and McCoy suffered no further complications ahead of Luka’s premature birth.

Immediately following his birth, she was transferred to the ICU where she was sedated, but because there was a chance that she may not survive the next surgery, her medical team slowly brought her out of sedation so she could speak with family members.

It was then that Kinney decided Luka, who was dealing with health issues of his own, needed to meet his mother.

“To see him with her, I was able to wean his oxygen he was on 100 percent, I was able to wean him to room air, I did not have to provide breaths for him anymore -- being able to witness that, it’s a miracle,” Kinney said.

McCoy said her nurse potentially saved both of their lives by bringing him to her before her surgery.

McCoy said her nurse potentially saved both of their lives by bringing him to her before her surgery. (SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital)

Two years later, McCoy said she is still forever grateful to Kinney and the staff at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital for what they did to save her and her son.

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“He obviously has no idea this journey he went through to even become Luka, he’s kind of one of kind and I’m really proud to be his mom,” McCoy said.