Saving Sarah: how pathology was vital when Sarah gave birth to baby Malakai

Sarah Davis is a Melbourne mum who truly understands pathology’s value for new and expecting mothers.

When Sarah gave birth to her first son 10 years ago, she had had a good pregnancy and her delivery went really well. However, when it came to the day of her discharge from hospital, Sarah was feeling really unwell. She was in a lot of pain but when the doctors checked her they assured her it was normal and she was fine to go home.

When Sarah went to the nursery to collect her son she felt very ill. “I felt like I couldn’t breathe and was going to pass out,” said Sarah.

She insisted to doctors that something was wrong and so they agreed to run some blood tests. The tests showed she had septicaemia.

Septicaemia is when disease-causing bacteria are present in the blood. Sometimes this can happen without symptoms or consequence as our bodies are able to effectively fight infection. However, when the immune system is weakened, the bacteria in the blood can cause serious infections or inflammation and may even be fatal.

Sarah was kept in hospital for two weeks and received several blood tests every day to monitor her progress. Her veins collapsed from so many blood tests and the collectors would often struggle to get blood – but they were always very careful and managed to do the job.

Sarah was so impressed by the treatment she received and so grateful for the diagnosis from pathology that she entered the profession herself. She is now a pathology collector and supports the Know Pathology Know Healthcare initiative by handing out information cards to her patients.

Her experience has helped Sarah in her job. She sees the role of pathology from the patient’s perspective and understands how they feel waiting for results and the reliance they have on those results – they are vital for peace of mind and confidence in a diagnosis.

Sarah also says pathology helped in her next pregnancy.

“I had a lot of anxiety because I didn’t want something similar to happen again, but blood tests gave me peace of mind that everything was ok.”

Sarah now has three happy, healthy children Makayla (12), Malakai (10) and Caleb (8), and pathology continues to play an important role in her family’s healthcare.