Part 3: Alexandra Malusevic ... 2 lives instantly change

April 05, 2011
Reclining on a padded table in a Northwest Perinatal Center exam room, Alexandra Malusevic watched grainy pictures of the fetus growing in her womb flash across a video monitor.

David Sproat, the baby's father, sat next to her, holding Alex's hand and repeating one word -- "Wow!" -- as the ultrasound images revealed tiny fingers, toes, eyes, mouth and four little chambers of the heart.

Seven weeks had passed since a car ran over Alex in a downtown crosswalk, missing her belly by inches. She'd endured surgeries to repair a broken ankle and to extract a potentially deadly blood clot from her heart. Fractures in her pelvis and spine were still healing. Yet, her baby appeared robust.

He was all Alex hoped to focus on during that last month of her pregnancy.

Given her traumatic injuries and accompanying complications, she knew her original plan for a water birth, attended by a midwife, wouldn't fly. But she hoped to get through labor without painkillers and deliver her child the old-fashioned way, rather than by cesarean-section.

When her ultrasound appointment wrapped up, Alex climbed off the table and into a wheelchair. David pushed her back to the waiting room. She was due to see her perinatalogist next and planned to ask about an infection she'd developed in the surgically repaired ankle.

Dr. Debra Guinn didn't like the looks of it. She thought Alex might have cellulitis, a serious bacterial skin infection, and admitted her that afternoon to
Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.

Read the full article
, part three of a three-part series, on OregonLive.