PHOENIX - A Mesa mother and baby have made an amazing recovery, after an emergency C-section.
Both were fighting for their lives, after a heart condition affected both of them.
Now, a year-and-a-half later, people would never know that Lupita Garcia and her daughter, Maia, had a fight for their lives.
"I never thought I would have been able to survive something like that," said Lupita.
When Lupita was 33 weeks pregnant, she was feeling shortness of breath and an increased heart rate. She went for a checkup, and during that visit, doctors at Dignity Health Mercy Gilbert Medical Center realized her situation was dire, and that she needed an emergency C-section.
"I didn't even know I had an emergency C-section," said Lupita. "Not until 13 days later, when I woke up."
Lupita was experiencing Peripartum Cardiomyopathy, a weakness of the heart that can happen during pregnancy or postpartum. Doctors say Lupita had a cardiac arrest after delivery, while Maia was born without a pulse.
"Because of how sick Lupita was, the baby wasn't getting the oxygen she needed to be well," said Meredith Hestand, Senior Director of Nursing for Maternal Child Health.
Doctors resuscitated her, and she started breathing, but they say Lupita was almost to the point of not making it.
19 days after delivery, Lupita met Maia for the first time.
"It was such an emotional moment. It is hard to describe," said Lupita.
Now, knowing how close she was to not being around for Maia's life moments, Lupita treasures every day with her, and her family.
"She and I are very tight," said Lupita. "She is my miracle baby."
Doctors say this is not common, but not totally rare either. They say because it's heart health month, they want women to know it is about awareness, especially because Lupita was health and had no family history.