Mom on verge of death undergoes open heart surgery, C-section at same time

A pregnant mother out of Monroe, NC was on the verge of death. She was given a less than one percent chance of surviving in the operating room. This Monday a miraculous turn of events as she heads home.

Caroline "You say you feel like you have a mission."

Danielle "I’m going to share my story and go to my church and share my testimony. Life is great. Life is good. Don't take your life for granted."

Danielle Gaither is thankful for her life. She nearly died in February.

"My chest was hurting; my stomach was hurting. The ambulance had to come and pick me up off the floor."

Danielle has a high-risk medical condition: a connective tissue disorder called Marfan syndrome. She and her unborn son were airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center.

"While in flight, I had to make up my mind what I wanted to do," said Dr. Jeko Madjarov, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon, Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute.

Doctors made a tough call to perform a C-section and open heart surgery at the same time. Danielle had less than a one-percent chance of surviving.

"My life is special and I need to be here for my kids." danielle

Both mom and baby pulled through, but it took Danielle 111 days to recover enough to meet her baby boy KV.

Caroline: "What was that moment like when you were able to hold your baby for the first time?"

Danielle: "It was special to me. I cried. I was so happy I cried."

Now, Danielle is ready to return home to her four children.

"It was hard for me to learn how to walk. The first day I came I probably walked 5 steps. Now I'm walking 250 steps."

First on the list, Danielle wants to treat her mom for being by her side over the past five months.

Caroline: "What's the first thing you want to do when you get back home?"

Danielle: "Probably sit down and aggravate my momma and see where we're going to go eat."

Caroline: "What food are you missing the most?"

Danielle: "I want to go and eat some Red Lobster. I'm going to take my mom and eat some Red Lobster."