“I thought it was food poisoning,” says Amanda. “I tried to relax, but the pain never went away.”
Past painful experiences — multiple shoulder dislocations, a heart tumor and surgeries — had taught Amanda to calm herself and had increased her pain tolerance. But the piercing pain in her stomach and the tightness in her back were different.
“A tingling surge of energy came over me and I could finally relax, then I passed out,” she says.
Mitch called for an ambulance and told dispatch his wife was six and a half weeks pregnant. She drifted in and out of consciousness but recalls insisting she didn’t need help.
"I lost control,” says Amanda. “I didn’t know what was so wrong. I couldn’t move.
“I talked to God and said, ‘If you want to get me through this, OK. If it’s my time to go, OK.’ I was never scared.”
The EMTs asked Amanda where she wanted to go, listing Wichita’s emergency room options.
“Take me wherever’s closest,” she relented.
EMS rushed Amanda to Via Christi Hospital on St. Teresa, the 2-year-old hospital in northwest Wichita. A bedside ultrasound by an ER doctor didn’t reveal a pregnancy in her uterus, but there was something wrong in the left fallopian tube near the ovary.
Janey Maki, MD, the on-call OB/GYN, quickly assessed Amanda’s life was in danger.
“She was in shock,” says Dr. Maki. “She was visibly pale and unstable, she had difficulty staying oriented. Her abdominal wall was clearly distended with blood.”
Amanda’s chest felt tight and it was hard to breathe. Her low blood pressure plummeted further. Within minutes Dr. Maki took her to surgery for a ruptured ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, an emergency in early pregnancy in which a baby cannot survive.
“She received multiple units of blood and blood products for her massive internal bleeding,” Dr. Maki says.
The hospital, situated amid open pastures of the historic Strunk farmstead, provided Amanda an extra measure of comfort during recovery.
“It was so neat to look out the window and see the barn, a horse and fences and all of the beauty and nature that I’m so tied to,” she says. “I think it really helped with the healing process.”
Today, Amanda is back in the saddle and as busy as ever. Trotting around her arena with Razzel or riding trails atop Rupert helps to melt away stresses and bring life into balance. She knows that had she not arrived at Via Christi when she did, she could have died. Despite losing her pregnancy, she is hopeful.
“It will happen someday,” she says. “I’m still here for a reason, so I’m making the most of the second chance I’ve been given.”