“Grady has angels,” Yasmin Mathews said while sitting in an outpatient room in the Correll Cardiac Center. Her doctor, Emory cardiology fellow Ozlem Bilen played with Mathews’ three-year-old son, Adonis, who accompanied his mom during a check-up.
“Without Grady I wouldn’t be alive,” Mathews said.
Mathews gave birth to Adonis prematurely at 31 weeks, and he was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). What happened next was unexpected—Mathews’ heart was failing because of postpartum cardiomyopathy. This disease is an uncommon form of heart failure that happens during the last month of pregnancy or up to five months after giving birth.
“Her heart was functioning at only 5% efficiency, that’s almost like needing a new heart,” said Bilen. “She stayed in the ICU for about 60 days, while her baby was in the NICU.”
Mathews’ described her patient experience at Grady as loving.
“Everyone I met at Grady— staff from the NICU, Mother/Baby, Cardiac, Guest Services, they all made me feel loved. And that’s not a feeling you associate with a hospital usually. I knew my baby was in good hands while I took care of myself, and I knew the people in my corner were working hard to help me recover,” Mathews said.
Three years later, Mathews’ heart function is back to normal, and her follow-up visits have been adjusted to once a year.
“I come in and I feel like family. During my examination doctors and staff help take care of Adonis like their own. It’s all love here.”