Donna's Saving Grace


Donna's Story

A typical pregnancy is over nine months long and usually contains many moments of hope and joy, but can also be a time of uncertainty and worry. Donna Burris, during her first pregnancy, experienced more uncertainty and worry than any expecting mother should.

During her first pregnancy, Donna developed a subchorionic hematoma and suffered from placenta previa, conditions that involve severe bleeding and presented risks to her and her baby's health.

Placenta previa occurs when the placenta grows over the cervix. About 1 in 200 pregnancies are affected and women need the expert care of obstetricians who specialize in high-risk pregnancies. Placenta previa can cause serious bleeding and lead to other complications later in pregnancy. In particular, placenta previa can result in severe bleeding during labor, which can be very dangerous for both mom and baby.

Just before Thanksgiving weekend, when Donna was 10 weeks pregnant, she sought out her team at Columbia, led by nationally recognized obstetrician Dr. Mary D’Alton, as she feared she had miscarried. Despite the upcoming holiday, the staff of ColumbiaDoctors encouraged her to come to the office and stayed late to perform a sonogram to check on Donna's baby. The team was able to confirm that baby Grace was doing just fine and alleviate Donna’s fears.

Throughout the rest of Donna’s pregnancy, she required regular monitoring and close management, coming to the office nearly weekly to make sure the pregnancy was progressing well and that the bleeding she was experiencing was not causing harm to her baby.

 “They were all invested. I called them so many times, and they’d say, ‘just come over.’” Donna says, “The entire Columbia doctors here –  I wasn’t just a patient, I wasn’t just a person, they were fighting for my daughter.”

Donna had an uneventful delivery, and Grace is now a happy and healthy two-year-old with now a sister – earlier in the fall, Donna gave birth to her second child at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. 

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