Health & Wellness

Grateful Mother Has Reunion with Somerville Doctor Who Saved Her Life

ba12d24a4b89922dada5_sompixRWJUHreunion.JPG
From left, Adam Cattell (Casey’s husband) holding Nathan Cattell; Casey Cattell, Dr. Marc Milano, medical director, Emergency Department, RWJUH/Somerset, and Barbara Gallacher, Casey’s mother. Credits: Courtesy RWJUH/Somerset
ba12d24a4b89922dada5_sompixRWJUHreunion.JPG

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Casey Cattell had a difficult pregnancy and delivery, dodging death not once, but twice.

Both times, her life and the life of her baby were saved by the quick action of emergency room doctors and staff, the first time at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital/Somerset and three months later at RWJUH/New Brunswick - just one week after giving birth to her son, Nathan.

Two summers ago, 24 weeks into her first pregnancy, Cattell was rushed to RWJUH Somerset where she was met by Dr. Marc Milano, chair, Department of Emergency Medicine. Milano quickly diagnosed her pulmonary ebolism and saved her life.

Sign Up for E-News

Nathan was born three months later, Oct. 4, 2015 at Hunterdon Medical Center in Flemington - in between emergency room visits to Somerville and New Brunswick. His mother was in labor for 26 hours - without medication – until doctors performed a Caesarean section. He came into the world weighing 8 lbs., 8 oz.

One week later the 37-year-old mother was rushed to the ER at RWJUH/New Brunswick from her home in Somerset, suffering from internal bleeding because of a postpartum hemorrhage. She received several liters of blood. She was released from the hospital after 11 days.

“Had the supply of blood not been there, I wouldn’t be talking to you right now,” she said.

"Since my near misses, my greatest hope is to be able to use my story in a positive way to help others," Cattell said.

A new chapter was added to her story on Tuesday when she returned to RWJUH/Somerset for a reunion at the Somerville hospital with Milano, who got to meet 15-month-old Nathan for the first time.

 “She’d sent me pictures of Nathan, but this was the first time I could hold his hand, give him a kiss,” Milano said. “It was a very emotional experience for me.

“Casey must have said 5, 10 times ‘you saved my life and the life of my son,’ but I’m just going in there to do my job, what every doctor does every day, day in and day out,” Milano said. “This is not about glory or recognition, this is what we do.”

“I’m a two-time survivor,” Cattell said. “This has been one heck of a year.”

On Oct. 11, 2016, her self-proclaimed “survival anniversary,” Cattell  visited RWJUH/Somerset to donate blood.

“I’m no stranger to donating blood,” Cattell said. She donated her first pint of blood when she was 17.

“It will definitely become more of a regular thing,” she said after her 90-minute meeting with Milano. Cattell also said that she hopes her story inspires others to give blood.

“My hemorrhage was in October, 2015; I had to wait 12 months before they’d allow me to donate blood, so, on my ‘survival anniversary,’ Oct. 11, I donated a pint of blood.

“it was very important for me to do it, and it had to be that day,” she explained.  “I was able to give back a year after that blood was flowing from a bag to keep me alive, now it was my blood flowing into a bag to help someone else.”

Since then, she has donated blood two more times, and will do so again next month, and again in late April or early May. She has to wait a minimum of 56 days in between.

“Because her life was saved by a blood transfusion, she has become a reliable, faithful donor,” Milano said. "She is comfortable speaking about the impact and what it has meant to her life,” he added.

January is National Blood Donor Month. New Jersey’s emergency blood supply is low during the winter months, according to Christia Keyte, blood donor program supervisor, RWJUH/Somerset.

Donating blood is extremely important, especially when medical injuries and accidents increase because of cold weather, Keyte said.

 “The need is always greater than the supply; there is always a need for blood,” Keyte said. “The only way we can have blood on the shelf is if people give of themselves.

“It is a simple and relatively painless procedure, a simple thing to do to give back to the community,” she continued. “You never know if you or a family member may need blood transfusions, so I would certainly encourage people to donate."

Further information is available by calling RWJUH/Somerset at (908) 685-2926 or RWJUH/New Brunswick at (732) 235-8100, ext. 221

Those wishing to donate blood can make an appointment online by accessing the website at www.rwjuhdonorclub.org to make an appointment.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Somerville

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!

 

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_09c0665ea9d03afcd34d_spb-4923_newsletter_may_22

Tue, May 22, 6:30 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Sugar Land Skeeters ...

Sports

Carousel_image_8665906ab5be45abb262_spb-4923_newsletter_may_23

Wed, May 23, 6:30 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Sugar Land Skeeters ...

Sports

Carousel_image_63321ee14331a27d512a_spb-4923_newsletter_may_24

Thu, May 24, 11:00 AM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Sugar Land Skeeters ...

Sports

Hillsborough Teen Prevails in Chess Match Against Somerset Freeholder Levine

May 16, 2018

ROCKY HILL, NJ – Somerset County Freeholder Brian Levine had his hands full as he matched wits with 10 young chess players in a simultaneous tournament at the Mary Jacobs Memorial Library.May 14.

Levine’s opponents, ages 6-18, proved to be a tough match, with 7-year-old Grace Liang stumping Levine several times before he prevailed.

Some matches took as long as three ...

Valairco Heating and Cooling Celebrates 50 Years of Service; Dedicated to Keeping Your Family Comfortable

May 9, 2018

MANVILLE, NJ - Valairco Heating and Cooling is celebrating 50 years of serving the central New Jersey area and beyond. Kevin McHugh, owner and third generation of this family run business, takes pride in a job well done and Valairco’s commitment to providing the best value around through stellar workmanship, industry leading warranties, and affordable prices and maintenance ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...