Melanie Pritchard, Wife, Mother, Author, AFE Survivor

Mar 24, 2012 | Books on AFE

A Spirit Filled Life With a Quest to Help Others

The news spread quickly on July 28, 2010, and covered the country thanks to a variety of media both old and new. Radio stations, Twitter and Facebook feeds, email chains and good old-fashioned phone trees all called people to action.

Melanie Pritchard was dying and needed prayers. She had suffered an amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) while delivering her second child, which brought about a cardiac arrest. Her heart stopped beating for 10 minutes. She was rushed into immediate surgery, but the odds were overwhelmingly stacked against her. A miracle was needed.

Melanie and Ella Hospital

Two days later, Melanie sat in a hospital bed and held her newborn, Gabriella. She had survived the cardiac arrest along with massive hemorrhaging and a number of back-to-back emergency surgeries.

Melanie survived with no discernible brain damage. It took a while for her short-term memory to return, but that is common to most victims of extreme trauma. Against all odds her family was told multiple times throughout the ordeal to say their farewells yet she survived.

Shortly after her recovery, Melanie decided she needed to write about her experience. “The Day I Died” recounts Melanie’s miraculous survival from the perspective of a number of people close to the event. Melanie has no recollection of her time spent between life and death. She wanted and needed to know what happened. As the stories emerge from the pages, it becomes clear that what happened was nothing short of miraculous and extraordinary in every way. “The Day I Died” is not just a repetition of these events. It’s an attempt to investigate the great question anyone would have after living through such trauma: Why me? Why did I survive? What does this all mean?

Her journey of writing the book proved incredibly healing and also lead her to the AFE Foundation. Since that time she has become greatly involved in the AFE Foundation’s online support group and has helped countless others in their darkest moments after experiencing an AFE.

Melanie’s story has been featured on hundreds of blogs and websites.  It has circumvented the globe and touched thousands. This week, Redbook Magazine featured Melanie and Ella’s story online.


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