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Folkestone mum Margaret Wang has life-saving operation after diagnosis at William Harvey Hospital

By Matt Leclere

A heavily pregnant woman had an extraordinary life-saving operation to give birth to her son and repair a tear in her heart.

Margaret Wang, who was 37 weeks pregnant, fell ill at her home in Folkestone during the middle of the night suffering from head and back pain.

Her partner, Peter Warren, called the NHS helpline 111 and they were told to head straight to hospital during the ordeal two weeks ago.

Margaret Wang with her new baby and her partner Peter Warren. Both mum and baby are doing well after the operation
Margaret Wang with her new baby and her partner Peter Warren. Both mum and baby are doing well after the operation

She is now making an excellent recovery and both mum and baby are doing well and expecting to head home in the coming days.

The couple arrived at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford where the anaesthetic and obstetric team conducted a CT scan and found a tear in Ms Wang’s aorta – the main artery which carries blood away from the heart and around the body.

The tear can be fatal if it is not detected and repaired quickly but was picked up by two junior doctors, Dr Catherine Lloyd and Dr Freda Amoakwa- Adu.

Consultant anaesthetist Dr Christina Schneider-Smith, who was on call at the time, said: “The junior doctors’ clinical, professional and human factors acumen was outstanding.

“I had the pleasure to see this directly, as I was consultant on call for labour ward in the morning.

“Without Freda and Catherine, the outcome for mother and baby could have been different because this is a rare and time-critical condition.”

The William Harvey Hospital in Ashford
The William Harvey Hospital in Ashford

They have both been nominated for awards highlighting excellence in clinical practice.

Ms Wang, 42, was transferred to King’s College Hospital in London – a specialist cardiology centre in the treatment of aortic disease – by an ambulance on blue lights and joined by her partner and a doctor and midwife.

She was immediately rushed to an operating theatre where a team of obstetricians, paediatricians, cardiothoracic surgeons, nurses and anaesthetists were waiting to operate.

Doctors carried out a caesarean section and successfully delivered a baby boy, who has not yet been named.

He needed help breathing when he was first born and had to be put on a ventilator.

The cardiothoracic team, led by Olaf Wendler, a professor of cardiac surgery opened Ms Wang’s chest to replace part of her aorta.

Her baby is now off the ventilator and Ms Wang is hoping to return home to Folkestone in the next few days to join Peter and their two-year-old son, Wolfie.

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