A Mom’s Brush with Death Creates Lifelong Friendship

The Roskelley family shortly after Lucas' birth.

The Roskelley family shortly after Lucas’ birth.

Jenny Roskelley was young, fit and had a normal pregnancy. After more than 10 hours of labor, doctors performed an emergency cesarean section because they were concerned the baby’s size might be too much for Jenny’s small frame. Jessica Weirich, a Memorial Family Maternity Suites RN, was her assigned nurse and had just recently started working on the labor and delivery unit.

Jenny and her husband, Jimmy, welcomed healthy baby boy Levi into their family. But before they could bask in the newborn glow, things started to go terribly wrong.

“The pain was so intense,” Jenny said. “I told Jessica something was wrong. I could feel my heart slowing down.”

Jenny was hemorrhaging. She experienced a rare complication where her uterus did not contract after delivery. Her blood pressure dropped to 68/13. She lost 75 percent of her blood. If the loss of blood was not immediately stopped, the outcome would be fatal.

“I kept looking at Jessica and asking if I was going to die,” she said.

A medical balloon was inserted into Jenny’s uterus to stop the bleeding. After multiple blood transfusions and a five-day hospital stay, the Roskelleys went back home to Havana, IL, as a happy family of three.

That was 2013. And over the course of time, Jenny never lost touch with the nurse she credited with saving her life.

Second-Time Around

Jessica, with help from other nurses, decorated Jenny's door in anticipation of baby Lucas.

Jessica, with help from other nurses, decorated Jenny’s door in anticipation of baby Lucas.

Two years later Jenny, now a stay-at-home mom, was ready to deliver baby number two. Although it was another healthy pregnancy, she was understandably anxious and fearful about the delivery. On the day of her scheduled c-section, those emotions were immediately eased when she saw a familiar face there to greet them.

“I made arrangement to move my shift around to be there,” Jessica said. “All my patients are special. But whenever you go through a traumatic experience like that, you get close to the patients. I wanted to make sure she was okay this time around.”

Thankfully, with some uterine massaging to create contractions, Jenny had a normal delivery and another addition to the family, baby Lucas.

Jenny, Levi and baby Lucas thank Jessica for all she's done for their family.

Jenny, Levi and baby Lucas thank Jessica for all she’s done for their family.

“Jessica told me she knew my situation like the back of her hand, and I would be okay this time,” Jenny said. “I was still scared, but I believed her. She is so important to us, and I want her to always be a part of our lives.”

It’s a feeling Jessica shares.

“We have a special connection,” Jessica said. “You hope to leave a lasting impression on the families, but sometimes, they are the ones who leave impressions on you.”

The Roskelley family recently paid Jessica a visit, and we captured the reunion in motion.