Tonawanda News

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February 4, 2008

TONAWANDAS: Suddenly single dad

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Patty’s death certificate says she died from diffused intravascular coagulopathy, a failure of the blood to clot, related to complications of placental abruption.

At some point in her labor, the placenta that connects mom and baby tore away from Patty’s uterus and she began bleeding. According to Rhonda, one of Patty’s doctors said she suffered an amniotic fluid embolism, meaning the amniotic fluid that surrounded the baby, plus fetal cells, hair and other materials, leaked into Patty’s bloodstream and brought on an allergic reaction. That’s why her blood didn’t clot. She lost so much blood so quickly, she had a heart attack.

Amniotic fluid embolism occurs once in every 86,000 pregnancies, Rhonda said.

It seems especially ironic that it happened to a couple who’d tried so hard to have a baby. Patty and Dave were together for seven years, and when decided they wanted a family of their own, Patty first had to undergo reversal of tubal ligation. Then they suffered two miscarriages, the second one when Patty was five months pregnant.

Dave now has the baby they desperately wanted, but he doesn’t have Patty.

“It seems like one heartache after another,” Rhonda said. “My son feels like he traded one for the other.”

Patty also left a 14-year-old son, Bryan, from a past marriage.

Dave, 30, has pledged to adopt him.

Since he and Patty were not married, Dave had to seek temporary legal custody of both children. The legal wrangling continues as he pursues Bryan’s adoption and establishes Rebecca’s paternity.

The suddenness with which Dave finds himself a single father of two is shocking financially as well as emotionally. Patty did not have life insurance, and it was her health insurance through work that covered Bryan.

Dave, a truck driver for Modern Disposal, has seen his policy payments skyrocket since he added Rebecca and Bryan to his health plan.

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