Fingernail from baby nearly kills mother after childbirth

Cottom with her husband Peter, four-year-old daughter
Olivia and twins Amelie and Ava
By: Sarah Weiss 

A woman was nearly killed after a fingernail from her baby slipped into her bloodstream during childbirth, according to hospital officials.

The woman’s twins were born five weeks premature, Amelie and Ava came to this world after being revived with oxygen. But they are not the only ones who are lucky to be alive.

Their mother, Angela Cottam, almost died after a suspected fingernail or hair of one of them entered into her bloodstream during birth. The rare condition, affecting only one in 80,000 births, caused Cottam to suffer severe internal bleeding and collapsed her lungs.

The primary school teacher lost seven pints of blood, needed 22 transfusions and spent 12 hours in a coma when her family members were told that she might not survive. "I feel very fortunate to be here and really blessed that the twins are with us, as it could have been very different," Cottam, 33 said.

"There are times when I’m alone and I cry when I think 'What if?' But I try not to think about it and just thank my lucky stars that the doctors and midwives on duty that day recognized what was happening," Cottam added.