With thanks to Royal Papworth Hospital, we have our happy ending. Clare Braybrook, patient.

Clare was 31 weeks pregnant and looking forward to the birth of her first baby when she was suddenly hit with agonising chest pain. Her husband Patrick rushed her to A&E at Addenbrooke's Hospital where it was discovered that Clare needed immediate emergency heart surgery to save her life and she was 'blue lighted' to Royal Papworth Hospital.

Royal Papworth Hospital’s reputation as a heart and lung hospital is well known but to have a baby delivered at the hospital is a very rare occurrence.  Only three other babies have been delivered at Royal Papworth Hospital in the past 20 years.

Mr Sam Nashef, Consultant Surgeon at Royal Papworth Hospital, who performed Clare's surgery said:

Clare had an aortic dissection, which is a tear in the wall of the aorta, the body’s main artery. This is a dangerous condition and usually fatal if not treated quickly.  An emergency team was assembled at Papworth and included specialists from anaesthesia and heart surgery from Royal Papworth Hospital and obstetrics and neonatal paediatrics from Addenbrooke’s Hospital. First of all baby Emily was safely delivered by Caesarean section and just twenty minutes later Clare was undergoing major heart surgery. We changed Clare’s aortic valve and her aorta and joined her own coronary arteries to the new aorta. She made a quick recovery and went home just six days later. I am delighted to see both Clare and baby Emily doing so well.