The Day She Died With Her Unborn Daughter Still in Her Body

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 11, 2015   |   10:11AM   |   Washington, DC

Melanie Pritchard and her family have an incredible story to share — one of the harrowing tale of her sudden death and a second part of her miraculous healing.

This intense tale of Melanie’s 10-minute death while delivering her second child and bringing forth new life will leave you breathless.

Pregnant at the time, Melaine suffered from amniotic fluid embolism, DIC, heart failure and cardiac arrest. She was declared dead and should have never recovered, but, miraculously, she did. Melaine’s faith through the whole ordeal and the profound faith and love poured out by friends, family and community is clearly evident.

Nancy Flanders has written more about Melanie’s amazing story.

Melanie Pritchard was as prepared as you can be to deliver her second baby. When she was pregnant with her first she had done all the research necessary to find a pro-life OB/GYN and drove 25 minutes of her way just to see that doctor,” she writes. “Her unborn child’s life was of the highest value to her, and she wanted to ensure that her doctor felt the same way. It turned out to be one of the best and most important decisions of her life.”


“She has no memories of the frightening events that took place, so she relies on the details she learned from her husband and doctors,” Flanders adds. “According to those present, Melanie was in labor and delivery when she began to feel light-headed and nauseous. Her vitals were stable, but while the nurse began trying to figure out what was happening, Melanie slumped over. Her husband, Doug, recalls that she turned blue and her heart rate and blood pressure dropped to zero on the monitors. Their unborn baby’s heart rate dropped as well. Melanie had gone into cardiac arrest and was clinically dead.”

What happened next was a whirlwind, and Doug turned to God for help.

Here’s more on her story, from LiveActionNews:

My husband later told me that he prayed in these words: “God, I know that this is more than I can handle, which means you have a plan and a purpose in this, and I trust you; but please, if it is your will, allow me to hold my wife again.” He said he has never felt more helpless and afraid in all his life.

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By now family and friends had begun to congregate and they all grabbed hands and began to pray. Soon after they began to text, email, Tweet, and post statuses on Facebook, asking people to pray for me. The domino effect began to happen. By the end of that day, I was the number one Googled person in Phoenix and one of the top 100 people Twittered about, as the prayer requests went viral.

In the OR, doctors worked feverishly to save both me and my unborn child. (As I mentioned, not all hospitals are the same, and I am incredibly grateful we chose a hospital that would not value one of our lives over the other. We had a team attending to us both.) Miraculously, we both survived this initial insult.

After our baby was delivered via C-section, my husband went to see our daughter in the nursery, not knowing if I was dead or alive. As he wiped the tears from his face, the nurses asked him the baby’s name. “Gabriella,” he replied, the “heroine of God.”

A nurse told my husband that after repeatedly using the defibrillator and beginning CPR they had been able to get a faint heartbeat. I had been without oxygen or a pulse for around 10 minutes. They spent over an hour and a half trying to resuscitate me.

The doctors at the new hospital wanted to perform another surgery to remove the packing from my open abdomen and stitch me up. But just before doing this, they withheld some of the sedation to more accurately assess my neurological state.


As Doug entered my room with my sister, he saw that my eyes were open and looking around. “Hey babe,” he said, without hesitation. I turned and he looked at me and my eyes began to well up with tears. It was clear to him that I was neither brain-dead nor impaired.

Worried that I may not make it through the operation, they showed me a photo of Gabriella. I began to cry. Momma bear must have come out, because I began to twist and turn to get out of my bed. They sedated me once more and wheeled me off to surgery. For the first time my family felt some optimism, even though the odds of my surviving the surgery were slim.

However, the surgery was successful, and from that point a miraculous recovery began to unfold. Within the next 24 hours, I was weaned off of all medications, except for pain medication. I was breathing on my own.