'If we don't get it out, it will take her life'
THE family of Caitlin Stubbs is slowly watching the young, new mum emerge from a coma, but time is not on their side.
Caitlin was diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation after a small brain bleed last year. Doctors had planned to do radiation, but it was put on hold when they discovered she was pregnant.
Then, on July 23, Caitlin returned home from a night out with friends and told her fiancee Jonathan Welsh she thought she was having another brain bleed.
"She thought it would be a really big one and she said her goodbyes," Caitlin's Goomboorian mum Melinda Edwards said yesterday. She was 32 weeks pregnant at the time.
A caesarian was performed the following day and baby Quinn, a girl, was delivered.
Doctors told the family Caitlin would need the AVM removed as soon as possible, with a date set for six weeks.
"When she had the first bleed, she made it through, but doctors told us that with this last bleed, Caitlin should've died," Ms Edwards said.
"Doctors also told us that three things could happen once the AVM is removed.
"She can either have a fatal bleed on the operating table, the artery on the left side of her body could clash with the AVM resulting in disability, or a miracle could happen.
"AVM is a ticking time bomb. If we don't get it out, it will take her life.
"We're just so thankful and lucky that she is by our side.
"She has a wicked sense of humour and speaks her mind. At the moment she is so sweet, I'm like 'who is this'. I'm starting to see little glimmers of it coming back."
Ms Edwards thanked the Gympie region community for the endless support and words.
The whole ordeal has been like a terrible dream, she said.
"It's the little things that mean the world to us. Caitlin was very fit, she loved going to the gym and was recently engaged. It has been a very challenging time for all of us.
"We were told Caitlin has the record for pulling her feeding tubes out, having pulled them out 16 times since she has been in hospital. Baby Quinn is now six weeks old and is doing well, keeping Jonathan on his toes."
Caitlin is undergoing rehabilitation, but the road ahead will not be easy.