New procedure helps doctors save pregnant woman and baby

A team of doctors were able to save a pregnant woman and her baby with a new procedure, and on Monday the new mom had a chance to thank those doctors.

Katie Dickens needed open heart surgery to replace her unhealthy heart valve, but she was pregnant and the surgery would put both lives at risk.

She went to Providence Saint Vincent Medical Center, where a group of doctors tried a new minimally invasive technique to place an artificial valve in her heart.

The doctors performed surgery in January, and last month, Dickens gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

“The fear that I felt at the beginning of this, there’s so much more opportunity to be able to have a healthy baby,” Dickens said. “I mean, I can think about having more children in the future and not have to worry about it.”

The doctors said this was the first procedure of its kind done in the northwest and possibly a first in the U.S.

They were happy to see the healthy mom and baby.

“You’d never know,” one doctor said. “You look at her, and she looks like a normal healthy young mom wishing she could get more sleep at night.”

Dickens and her baby are moving back to Illinois in a few weeks to be with the father. He plans to pick them up around Father’s Day.

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