Andrew Goette emerged from his medically induced coma just hours before his wife gave birth to their first child. Picture: Goette family
Andrew Goette emerged from his medically induced coma just hours before his wife gave birth to their first child. Picture: Goette family

Pregnant woman saves husband’s life before giving birth

HEAVILY pregnant Ashley Goette and her husband Andrew were preparing to go to hospital for the birth of their first child when the unthinkable happened.

The young mum-to-be awoke to find Andrew in distress and gasping for air just hours before she was scheduled to undergo an induction at United Hospital in the US state of Minnesota on October 16.

Struggling to remain calm, Ashley called emergency services and the dispatcher walked her through CPR while an ambulance made its way to their St Paul home.

"By the time the paramedics arrived Andrew was in full cardiac arrest and had been without oxygen for a significant period of time," the Goette family said in a statement.

"Acting fast, the medics restarted his heart and rushed him to United Hospital."

Andrew was placed in a medically induced coma on life support in the hospital's intensive care unit, with doctors warning his family to prepare for the worst.

He had been starved of oxygen for a dangerously long time and CT and MRI scans pointed to a catastrophic brain injury. Even if he emerged from the coma, his life would likely never be the same again.

 

Ashley and Andrew with baby Lenny, who came into the world among hairy circumstances. Picture: Goette family/GoFundMe
Ashley and Andrew with baby Lenny, who came into the world among hairy circumstances. Picture: Goette family/GoFundMe

 

Ashley Goette saved her husband Andrew’s life just hours before she was due to give birth to their first child. Picture: Goette family/GoFundMe
Ashley Goette saved her husband Andrew’s life just hours before she was due to give birth to their first child. Picture: Goette family/GoFundMe

'I'M NOT HAVING YOUR BABY UNTIL YOU WAKE UP'

Over the next 24 hours, intensive care doctors lowered Andrew's body temperature to give his brain the chance to heal and Ashley made him a bedside promise: She would wait for him to wake up before she had their baby.

"I didn't want to have to think for one second about having to do any of this without him," Ashley told KMSP.

"I kept telling him the whole time he was asleep, or in his coma, that I was not going to have this baby until he woke up."

The following day doctors rewarmed his body and lowered his sedation levels. Incredibly he woke up.

"This is one of my favourite things," Ashley said. "Libby (the ICU nurse) grabbed him and said, 'Andrew, do you know you're having a baby?' And he was like (nods yes). And she said, 'Do you want to be there and be a part of your baby's life?' And he shook his head yes."

Doctors feared Andrew Goette, pictured on life support in an induced coma, had sustained a catastrophic brain injury. Picture: Goette family/GoFundMe
Doctors feared Andrew Goette, pictured on life support in an induced coma, had sustained a catastrophic brain injury. Picture: Goette family/GoFundMe


Against all odds, Andrew managed to escape any brain damage. Doctors have attributed the lucky outcome to the quick actions of his wife.

"I don't think Andrew would be here today if it wasn't for the actions of Ashley," critical care physician Dr Alex Teeters told Fox News.

"Absolutely the number one thing is she recognised that there was a problem and called for help."

The next day, Andrew was wheeled out of ICU so he could be with his wife while she was induced.

"They brought Andrew down to labour and delivery, on his very own hospital bed and just parked it right next to mine," Ashley said.

 

Doctors wheeled Andrew’s ICU bed into the delivery room so he could lie next to his 39-week pregnant wife while she was induced. Picture: Goette family/GoFundMe
Doctors wheeled Andrew’s ICU bed into the delivery room so he could lie next to his 39-week pregnant wife while she was induced. Picture: Goette family/GoFundMe

 

Andrew Goette was the first person to hold baby Lenny after he was delivered by emergency caesarean. Picture: Goette family/Go Fund Me
Andrew Goette was the first person to hold baby Lenny after he was delivered by emergency caesarean. Picture: Goette family/Go Fund Me

 

SECOND EMERGENCY

Despite all they had gone through, the Goettes weren't out of the woods yet.

Attempts to induce Ashley's baby failed and doctors were forced to perform an emergency caesarean, allowing Andrew to watch the procedure on FaceTime.

When their son Lennon was finally born at a healthy 3.1kg, Andrew was the first person to hold him.

"I'm still watching on my phone as they're coming through the door," he told KMSP.

"So that was pretty cool. And I was already standing there with my shirt off waiting for him, with all my electrodes still hanging off of me."

Doctors believe Andrew's cardiac arrest was caused by Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome.

The relatively rare condition is characterised by an extra electrical pathway between the heart's upper and lower chambers which causes a rapid heartbeat.

This week Andrew successfully underwent surgery to correct his heart arrhythmia and is recovering in hospital along with his wife and their son.

The trio hope to be discharged in the coming days but now face a new challenge - how to cover their crippling hospital bills, prompting family and friends to start a fundraising campaign.



GALLERY: Tweed River High School students shine

GALLERY: Tweed River High School students shine

Watch out for our special formals insert on December 1

Mayor's plea for Tweed

Mayor's plea for Tweed

Mayoral message from Cr Katie Milne

Why not do a long lunch on Sunday?

Why not do a long lunch on Sunday?

Fins at Plantation House is open for Sunday lunch

Local Partners