Updated: Jun 6
How Parental Bliss Almost Turned to Unimaginable Sorrow
Like most couples, Chadene and Chevon Lewis were over-the-moon excited when that stick confirmed her first pregnancy. And in the months leading up to her delivery, all was going well—pampers, bottles, wipes and everything for the baby was sourced and ready—until it wasn’t.
Chadene remembers she started feeling a sense of “palpable unease" as she neared the end of the pregnancy. Around the same time, a neighbour gave her husband the message ‘you need to pray for your wife’s life’ after she had a dream about the couple.
“Since then, everyone in our village has been praying for us, especially for me. We knew not what the danger was, but we were steadfast in prayer,” Chadene shared.
Despite prepping for a natural birth, they chose to have a caesarean section at 35 weeks since their baby boy was breached.
“I wasn't mad, scared, nor disappointed. I accepted that I would have to deliver by C-section and planned to have our baby on February 3rd by elective surgery instead of the predicted February 12,” she said.
But on the morning of January 27th — one week earlier — the couple welcomed their beautiful baby boy, Malachi, through an emergency C-section. To them, the fact that the bountiful baby boy was healthy and born on the birthday of both his paternal grandparents was certainly a blessing.
Mommy and baby “had an unremarkable recovery” and were discharged a day early because they were progressing well, which was perceived as a sign of a return to normalcy.
Chadene Myers Lewis
But hunkering down into motherhood, Chadene, a medical doctor by profession, said she noticed abnormalities in her recovery.
“I recognized that my legs were extremely swollen, but they were painfree and I had no other symptoms. My doctor assured me that this degree of swelling was to be expected after delivery, but I was still suspicious of it,” she said.
Despite the assurance, Chadene said she felt herself slowing down as she enjoyed the bliss of motherhood. On February 3rd (the original date for C-section) when mommy and daddy took Malachi in for his first visit with the paediatrician, Chadene noticed a worsening of her symptoms.
"I was struggling to walk without being short of breath. My chest felt funny and I would need to pause while talking or laughing because I was short of breath," she shared. “Later that night, as I was going to sleep, I recognized that I couldn’t lie flat and had to prop myself up to not feel suffocated.”
When she woke up at around 1AM to use the bathroom, she said the Lord spoke to her.
“‘Chadene, all the signs are there. These things are not normal; what is happening to you?’ And in that moment, I saw my diagnosis and what I came up with truly scared me.”
Convinced she may have been overthinking the situation, she swiftly contacted a colleague and went over her symptoms. She recounted the confirmation: “Chadene, you are not overthinking, you might very well be in heart failure or experiencing a pulmonary embolism (clot in the lung).”
As calmly as she could, she woke Chevon, advised him of the emergency, packed the bags, got baby Malachi and they were off… again; to the hospital she left not more than a week ago as the happiest woman in the world.
Her health further decompensated in the 30-minute drive to the University Hospital of the West Indies and, by the time they arrived, she was “breathing faster and could now hear the wetness on her chest.” Her blood pressure was severely elevated, heart rate was fast, oxygen level was low and breathing was laboured.
“I was shocked at my physical findings because everything would have just suddenly worsened that night," she recounted.
While at the hospital, her chest was quickly scanned to reveal no clots in her lungs. This would mean one thing. At 28 years old, a young doctor who, prior to this had a great bill of health, was in heart failure — a small volume of fluid had settled around her heart and lungs.
“Just as quickly as it was recognized, my treatment started and with one dose of medication I was able to put out 5 litres in under 4 hours,” she stated.
Before the sun donned the skies, she was doing much better, and the prognosis was not as dire. “I was off oxygen. My chest was clear and all the visible swelling had resolved. I was out of heart failure!”
Since this episode, there has been a return to normalcy — as much as can be with a newborn in the home — and both Chadene and baby Malachi are doing well. She believes that her testimony is purely the work of divine intervention and is grateful to be here today to share it with others.
“God really stepped in and preserved my life. What happened to me still baffles myself and my managing doctors. We aren’t entirely sure what led to me having heart failure, but we are certain that my heart is healthy as per my normal echocardiogram done one day after the episode. Now I sit at home with normal vitals and physically feel like my normal self,” she said.
“I will count it all joy and a privilege to have endured this season, as it has brought nothing but praise to the Most High,” Chadene stated.
"I hope my testimony reaches you and encourages you to prepare for that unseen, dark period that may be up ahead. I pray that my testimony encourages you to reopen those broken channels to God. He loves you, He misses you and wants you to reconnect now and not when trouble is at your door. Whoever is reading this, God bless you and keep you, always."
~ Dr. Chadene Myers Lewis - Boy Mom