Woozy mum-to-be has lucky escape

By Rebecca Milne

For most women, morning sickness is one of the those minor irritations on the path to motherhood. For Carly Wood it nearly proved a killer.

Waiting to go to work one morning, the 25-year-old suddenly became woozy and lightheaded - the first time in her three-month pregnancy - and ended up falling on to railway tracks as a train approached.

Wood's tale has gobsmacked one medical professional who described her "as lucky as a black cat with two tails".

The drama unfolded for the ASB personal banker at Auckland's Ellerslie train station.

Commuters who witnessed the horror-filled moments later told Wood she took a few steps forward, before banging her head on the braking train and fell into the tiny gap between train and platform.

The train ran over Wood's left toe, taking off the nail and exposing and chipping the bone.

Scars on her forehead show where her head hit the train.

Miraculously, she escaped with only minor injuries - but her first concern was for the child she carried.

"The day started normally with my husband dropping me at the station at 7.15am," said Wood, who pays $12.50 a week for the 10-minute ride into Newmarket.

"I started feeling light-headed and cold. I had little spots in my vision and then everything went black."

Wood came to on a bed of stones and surrounded by a crowd of strangers staring at her.

A man pulled a stunned Wood on to the platform and helped her to a bench where she lay waiting for an ambulance. The first words she uttered were "I'm pregnant".

As the chaos died and police and fire staff discovered there was no fatality as a result of the mishap, Wood was loaded into an ambulance and transported to Auckland Hospital.

It was only then that the first-time mother let her tears out as the "magnitude of the situation hit".

A stay overnight and numerous tests showed Wood had low blood pressure but the baby was healthy.

"I realised how close I had come to getting seriously hurt," Wood said. "My life could have been taken away just as easily as that. But it wasn't my time."

Wood can laugh about the incident now, but her husband, Terry, 27, has appointed himself chauffeur in a bid to keep his wife of four months safely away from trains. "Terry said that was the worst phone call he has ever received," Wood said.

"Since then, he has wrapped me up in cotton wool."

East Auckland doctor Eileen Sables was amazed Wood walked away relatively unscathed.

"She's about as lucky as you can get."

In Dr Sables' opinion, the risk of the one-metre fall was greater for mother than baby, unless the train crashed into Wood with force.

"A huge impact has the potential to cause a miscarriage or a fetal death," Dr Sables said.

"In Australia, a 28-week-pregnant mother's car was hit and the impact drove her into the steering wheel and she lost the baby."

Low blood pressure during pregnancy is common but the fast recovery of Wood's big toe is another example of her extraordinary luck.

"You can lose just about any other toe and manage without a limp," Dr Sables said.

"But your big toe is essential for balance and being able to walk properly. If she retains her toe she's a black cat with three tails."

After such a lucky escape, Wood bought a Lotto ticket hoping her lucky streak would net millions but to no avail. The newest addition to the Wood family is due on September 14.

- Herald on Sunday

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