- - Thursday, January 11, 2024

Amanda Banic might not be here today if it wasn’t for her daughter, Baylor. The Michigan resident was 35 weeks pregnant when she suffered a tear in her aorta known as an aortic dissection. The condition was life-threatening and easily could have killed her. And it might have — if she hadn’t been pregnant.

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“Because of the way I dissected, [baby Baylor] kind of was in there, essentially holding everything together,” Mrs. Banic explained in a recent interview with Good Morning America. “Had she not been in there putting the pressure on all the right places, my outcome may have been very different, so she’s kind of a little miracle, in more ways than one.”

But it wasn’t an easy road for Mrs. Banic. Once doctors at her local ER realized what was happening, she had to be taken to a hospital over 80 miles away. Her situation required immediate surgery and the early delivery of her baby. All she could think of at the moment was meeting her daughter, but it would be almost a week before that happened.

“Over a span of 24 hours, I had a triple bypass, a C-section and aortic dissection repair surgery,” Mrs. Banic said. “[Doctors] contacted my family … and let them know that I was the sickest person in the hospital and the only thing I had going for me was my age and my health before pregnancy, just the fact that I was young and healthy.”

Meanwhile, baby Baylor was in the NICU because of her premature birth, and dad Derek was trying to come to terms with the fact that his wife might not survive and he would be raising a newborn alone.

“I feel like I’m a pretty tough person as far as stuff like that, and it was weighing me down,” Mr. Banic said. “I just, I can’t thank God enough, honestly.”

And with mom on life support, nurses were doing everything they could to strengthen the connection between Mrs. Banic and her daughter — even doing skin-to-skin contact while she was unconscious, which is known to be beneficial for both mom and baby.  

“Some of the only times I would react on life support was when they would do skin-to-skin with [Baylor], and apparently I would cry when they would do that,” Mrs. Banic said. “Love is a powerful thing, and the bond between a mother and a baby, it’s unreal.”

After the terrifying ordeal, Amanda Banic was finally able to meet her “miracle” baby on Mother’s Day in May 2023. And it was just the motivation she needed to recover much faster than her doctor’s expected. 

“[Derek] was there with me every day and I saw my baby every single day, and my recovery would not have been the same without that,” Mrs. Banic explained. “Once I became coherent again and really knew what had to be done, I just started doing it and kind of exceeding all their expectations.”

Mrs. Banic has since been diagnosed with Loeys-Dietz syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects connective tissue, which often contain blood vessels (the aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body).  And while her diagnosis means she will likely require additional medical procedures in the future and won’t be able to give birth again, the 35-year-old is just grateful to be alive and praising God for the “miracle” baby that helped save her life.

“I’ve dreamed about these days, but they are just beyond precious,” Mrs. Banic said. “I don’t take a single day for granted. Every day seems like a holiday for us. I just take advantage of every single day.”

Marissa Mayer is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in Christian Post, The Daily Signal, and Intellectual Takeout. Mayer has a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Arizona State University.

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