‘He really is a complete miracle:’ local photographer recounts life-threatening pregnancy

Local News

Bakersfield, Ca. (KGET)– Local photographer, Makenzie Hollar, and her husband William had struggled in the past to start a family, but they were finally able to conceive a boy last year. They were beaming, excited to have a family of their own. But things took a turn for the worse at 24-weeks along.

Makenzie was home alone at the time, so her mother called 911. Emergency personnel say nothing really seemed wrong, but she was taken to the hospital just to be safe.

But, when Makenzie arrived at the hospital, they flipped he on her back where she was met with immense pain. It became clear she had free flowing fluids in her abdomen, and had to be rushed into surgery. The doctor told her they would have to make an incision in her abdomen, but they would need to open her up more if they couldn’t find the cause of her internal bleeding.

While Makenzie was fighting for her life, her husband had to standby in the parking lot. This all was taking place amid the Coronavirus pandemic. William was not allowed to be with his wife, during what may be her final moments. William received a call hours later, that his son, Haylen, was born. Haylen entered the world weighing just one pound eight ounces. He was born so early that his lungs weren’t fully developed, he was extremely fragile and would spend the next four months in the NICU receiving constant treatment.

Makenzie had an undiagnosed extremely rare condition that caused her placenta to grow through her uterine wall, instead of growing along it. The back of her uterus was gushing blood into her abdomen. Her brain and uterus were receiving oxygen, but the rest of her organs were shutting down. She lost over five liters of blood, nearly all of her blood supply.

Remarkably, Makenzie and Haylen both pulled through. Haylen is now seven months old and is getting stronger every day. William and Makenzie say they chose Haylen’s name before he was born. It means ‘hall of light.’ They feel that he is living up to that name quite well.

Makenzie has become an advocate for blood donations. It is something that saved her and Haylen’s life. O negative is a universal blood type that is used for babies in the NICU. But this type is rare. 40-percent of the population has type O blood, but only seven-percent of that has O-. When you donate, you are helping save up to three people. Houchin also needs all other blood types, plus platelets, plasma and covid-19 convalescent plasma, if you’ve had the virus and recovered from it. You can schedule an appointment here.

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