Giving New Meaning to the Phrase 'Beating the Odds'

Vol. 14, No. 1
Winter 2004

  • $265,000 Grant to Help Winthrop Further Minority Health Outreach Efforts

  • One Million Dollar Gift to Help Build Highly Advanced, Expanded Interventional Cardiology Pavilion at Winthrop

  • Giving New Meaning to the Phrase 'Beating the Odds'

  • Winthrop's Pediatric Craniofacial Team... Reshaping Children's Lives Through Cutting-Edge Surgery

  • Winthrop's Institute for Cancer Care Provides the "One-Two" Punch Needed to Battle Cancer

  • Five Cents Goes Along Way in Helping Kids with Cancer

  • Winthrop Provides A Light at the End of the Tunnel for Families, Patients with Rare Genetic Disorder Known as Prader-Willi Syndrome

  • Christopher Dowd's Story

  • $400,000 Pledge from Jay's World Childhood Cancer Foundation Goes Toward Construction of Pediatric Oncology Rooms in New Inpatient Center

  • Celebrating New Life... Celebrating the Miracle of Love

  • When Prostate Cancer Strikes, Cryoablation is a Viable Treatment Option

  • Winthrop Acquires Most Advanced CT Scanner for Fastest, Most Accurate Imaging of the Human Body

  • Pat Lyons Foundation Donates $30,000 to Winthrop's Cancer Center for Kids Funds Raised at First Annual Golf Tournament in Memory of 9-11 Firefighter

  • Islanders Visit

  • "The future ain't what it used to be,"

  • $265,000 Grant to Help Winthrop Further Minority Health Outreach Efforts

    Back to Publications

  • High Risk Pregnancy has Positive Outcome Thanks to Winthrop's Maternal-Fetal Medicine Expertise

    The happy family - Venessa, John Cole and John Matone.
    Venessa and John Matone welcomed their baby boy, John Cole, to the world on July 23, 2003. His birth was one of life's true miracles. Why? Because Venessa Matone became pregnant after two failed kidney transplants and while on hemodialysis several times a day to cleanse her blood of waste.

    According to Andrzej Lysikiewicz, MD, Ms. Matone's perinatalogist who specializes in high-risk pregnancies at Winthrop Perinatal Associates, there are only about 100 reported cases of babies born to mothers on dialysis and most babies were born premature. He explained that these women were at very high risk for complications.

    Venessa beat the odds much to the elation of her team of physicians. And, while her journey to motherhood was a long and bumpy road, it was one that had a happy ending thanks in part to the special care she received at Winthrop-University Hospital.

    To understand just how miraculous the birth of John Cole Matone really was, one must go back in time to when Venessa's journey, and tribulations, really began. At the age of 19, she underwent her first kidney transplant. It was a day filled with hope that later turned dark when her body rejected the kidney and her transplant failed. She developed pneumonia and other complications, was put on a respirator and almost died.

    But, Venessa Matone was a fighter and continued to hold onto her zest for life. She recovered from the first failed transplant and was put on dialysis for the next eight and a half years, during which time she continued to build a good life for herself. She received her second transplant in 1996. Her body rejected this new kidney as well, but doctors were soon able to stabilize her and she went on to live with her new organs for another four years. Then, in 2000, her donated kidney failed again and had to be removed. Once more, she was put on hemodialysis three times a week and has been on dialysis ever since.

    Although her health problems were a daily challenge, Venessa and her husband, John, wanted very much to have a child. They consulted her physicians but were advised against trying to become pregnant as they thought it would be too risky for both mother and child. Starting a family, however, was in the cards for the Matone's. After first suffering a miscarriage, the couple found out they were expecting again in the winter of 2002 - and they could not have been happier.

    Finding a Helping Hand in a Time of Great Need

    Joyful yet wary, Venessa set out to find a hospital that would be able to provide her and her baby with the highest level of care and the most advanced prenatal, neonatal and renal resources she knew she and her unborn child would need.

    "In my research, I found that Winthrop was the best choice for high-risk pregnancies," she stated. "Winthrop not only had first rate prenatal and neonatal care programs and services, but doctors who specialized in high risk pregnancy, as well as renal disease."

    In 2002, Winthrop was designated a New York State Regional Perinatal Center, one of only 18 such Centers in all of New York. The prestigious designation recognizes Winthrop as a center of excellence for its ability to deliver the highest level of obstetrical and perinatal care to high-risk mothers and infants throughout the region.

    The Journey Continues

    Two months into her pregnancy, Venessa started hemodialysis five days a week and later progressed to six days a week in order to prevent complications from arising. Her pregnancy progressed wonderfully until she reached week 26 when she went into premature labor, a scary time for the Matone's.

    John Cole Matone is healthy today.
    "Luckily, we were able to stop Venessa's preterm labor," said Dr. Lysikiewicz. "The potential for complications in both the mother and the baby was tremendous and Venessa was provided with intensive care in Winthrop's New Life Center for the duration of her pregnancy."

    Dr. Imbriano stated, "Conception and birth for a dialysis patient is very rare. To ensure a successful outcome, Mrs. Matone was dialyzed daily for many weeks and was evaluated multiple times each day by the nephrology team, OB/GYN team and the nursing staff to provide her with the comprehensive care she needed."

    Added Dr. Lysikiewicz, "Not every hospital is equipped to handle such a difficult case, but thanks to the multidisciplinary care she received while at Winthrop, both mother and baby were healthy and these complications were not an issue."

    And Baby Makes Three

    When Venessa reached her 37th week, doctors discovered umbilical cord compression and the baby's heartbeat was decelerating. They ordered an emergency cesarean section and a healthy John Cole was delivered four weeks early at four pounds, nine ounces.

    "All of the doctors and nurses were just great," said Venessa. "They took really wonderful care of all of us."

    Today, the Matones are adjusting to life as a trio. Although Venessa is still on dialysis three times a week, she doesn't let her illness get in the way of enjoying every moment with her family.

    "Seeing an outcome like the Matone family's let us know that our efforts as medical professionals are very worthwhile," added Dr. Lysikiewicz.

    For information on maternal-fetal medicine and high-risk pregnancy services at Winthrop, contact the Institute for Family Care at 1-888-53-WOMEN.

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