May 9, 2014 3:41 pm
Updated: May 9, 2014 6:58 pm

Mother’s Day: After brain surgery, C-section, mom thriving with twins


WATCH ABOVE: A team of medical experts are to thank for a happy mothers’ day for Myla Lopez. Crystal Goomansingh reports.

TORONTO – According to Myla Lopez, it’s because of a miracle and the help of Toronto doctors that she and her twin daughters are alive.

Exactly a year ago at 36 weeks pregnant, the 41-year-old mom went to bed complaining about a headache. In the middle of the night, Myla’s husband Joel knew something wasn’t right: Myla was making noises in her sleep and she was breathing irregularly.

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Joel couldn’t wake his pregnant wife up. He immediately called 911.

“I still couldn’t believe that that happened to me because I was pretty healthy all the way through and I don’t know…but it’s a blessing that I’m alive,” Myla told Global News.

READ MORE: Mother’s Day – How motherhood changes a woman’s brain

The woman was pregnant and unconscious with a blot clot swelling in her brain. She underwent brain surgery and a C-section in the same evening.

“They were just closing my brain and they were already doing the C-section,” Myla explained of the impressive feat.

It was carried out by Dr. Leo da Costa, a neurosurgeon at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Emergency room doctors looking after Myla initially told her husband Joel that they’d lost her to blood clotting in her brain. But when they saw some movement in her body, they tested her reflexes and decided there was a chance to save her.

READ MORE: Newborn baby’s smell is as addictive as drugs or food, study says

At 6 a.m., da Costa got the call to go to Sunnybrook along with a 14-member team of various specialists including obstetricians, neurologists and anesthetists. Meanwhile, Myla was rushed to Sunnybrook, so she could be placed under their care.

“All I said was ‘there’s a pregnant lady with twins and she needs to come in’ and everybody just dropped what they’re doing and make it happen. It’s good to know you’re working in a place like this,” da Costa said.

Myla had a large clot on the right side of the brain. Da Costa’s task was to take out that clot by making a large opening in the skull, and leaving the bone-flap out to relieve pressure in the brain. But he had to factor in the babies and how the obstetrics team would play into his plans.

READ MORE: New moms, lose baby weight or face diabetes, heart health risk

Ultimately, both surgeries went smoothly.

“We had the blood clot out, and the bone out in less than an hour… less than an hour later, they were already starting the C-section and we were already closing the skin in the skull,” da Costa explained.

The twins, Samantha and Jamie, were rushed off to the neonatal intensive care unit. But Myla wasn’t out of the woods yet. The doctors couldn’t promise that Myla would wake up.

But she did three days later: “They had to tell me that I had the babies and a C-section. I didn’t know. I didn’t even have pain in my abdomen because, I guess, of all the medications I was on,” Myla told Global News.

READ MORE: Do babies inherit junk food addictions from their moms?

Now, she’s on the mend and happily raising her twin daughters who are now a year old and crawling, playing and sharing a special Mother’s Day with their family.

“If I weren’t brought to the hospital I don’t know if I’m still going to be sitting here in front of you,” she told Global News.

© 2014 Shaw Media

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