Winthrop Patient Stories
On January 21, 2013, Michelle was admitted to a local area Hospital. She was in preterm labor at 20 weeks with twins. This was after she and her husband tried for years to conceive, and finally, following a few rounds of IVF, she became pregnant. Michelle was being seen by a doctor specializing in high risk pregnancies. Upon arriving on that cold day in January, the doctor told her there was nothing she could do to save the babies. Michelle and her husband were told to go home and wait to go into labor, which would happen in about two weeks; go to her OB/GYN doctor and have labor induced; or go into New York City to a doctor who performs late-term abortions.
Michelle and her husband were devastated. They were given no hope and left believing that they had no options. When they arrived back home, Michelle called her gynecologist who suggested she get a second opinion from Martin R. Chavez, MD, Chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Winthrop-University Hospital. Dr. Chavez has a specialized expertise in high risk pregnancies, ultrasound diagnosis, ultrasound guided procedures and fetal surgery procedures. So, that same day, Michelle and her husband went to meet with Dr. Chavez.
“That was the day our lives changed and my babies were given a second chance at life,” said Michelle. While Dr. Chavez told her there were no guarantees, he said he was willing to“jump into the fire” and try to save her babies by inserting a cervical cerclage. Michelle had never heard the term before, but Dr. Chavez explained clearly that the procedure involves the placement of stitches in the cervix to keep it closed and prevent preterm labor. He explained how it was performed and repeated that, while it was not a sure thing, he would offer them the option.
“It was a no brainer,” said Michelle. “We fought long and hard to conceive these children and we found a doctor who would fight to save them.” The cerclage was put in the next day. For the next five months Michelle was on bed rest, getting up only for short periods each day and going to the hospital for weekly check-ups and sonograms. During that period, she met other members of Winthrop’s team: Dr. Wendy Kinzler, Dr. Timothy Rafael, Dr. Jolene Muscat and Dr. Genevieve Sicuranza.
“All of them made me feel so confident in my care,” said Michelle. “Their dedication to their job is undeniable.”
On May 30, 2013, Sophie Grace and Vincent Anthony were born. Dr. Chavez was there to deliver them.
“I always think he was there to save my babies and there to bring them into the world. He and the team are our miracle doctors. Though, every time I try and give him credit for this, he always tells me it was me who did all the work,” continued Michelle. “I have never met a doctor like Dr. Chavez…so personable, so caring. He even came into my labor and delivery room and sat with us for two hours talking to us about life, careers and families. He really does care about the patient— who you are as a person.”
“Dr. Chavez gave us hope and optimism, where we had previously been given no hope at all. I knew in my heart, that ‘no’ wasn’t the answer. Winthrop gave us the answer,” she added. “I will always recommend Dr. Chavez and the Hospital’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Team to any woman experiencing a difficult pregnancy.”