A TERRIFIED young mum was hours from death after developing blood clots following a routine childbirth.
Elizabeth Richardson, from Hartlepool, had only just given birth to her son Noah days earlier when her left leg turned completely black.
She was rushed to the University Hospital of North Tees with four clots on her left lung, two on her her right lung, and deep vein thrombosis in her leg.
Doctors told her she could die, especially on the first night when every minute was critical.
She admitted: “I knew if I closed my eyes I would never open them again.”
But she pulled through and Elizabeth reckons that was down to the support of her family and her fiance Liam Turnbull, also 22, who also had to cope with bringing up the couple’s new-born son Liam.
After five critical days in a hospital bed, support worker Elizabeth finally pulled through - and then faced weeks of recovery at home where she could only get around with the support of a walking frame.
Elizabeth added: “I wasn’t scared of death but I was petrified of leaving my fiance and new baby.”
She is still receiving medical treatment – four months after the life-or-death scare.
Now, Elizabeth is hoping to win the Mail’s Bride of the Year competition, run in conjunction with Robert Usher Photography, as her way of saying thank you to Liam for his strength and support.
She added: “Liam was great. He looked after our baby so well, and he made sure I was with Noah as much as I could be.”
Elizabeth suffers from a condition called Protein S Deficiency. She says it was that and the pregnancy which caused the clots.
She explained how the drama unfolded last November.
“I was staying at my mam’s house, my leg went black and I could not walk. I was rushed to North Tees where I saw different specialists.
“The clot was that big, I was told I had to lie still and hope it did not move.”
“Treatments weren’t working and everyone was on standby for me to go.
“By day five, I started to make some improvement, I wasn’t allowed to move for 12 days and, as I recovered, I realised how much my small family meant to me, how life is for living and one of my main regrets would have been that I wouldn’t have married Liam.”
The couple, from the Chester Road area of Hartlepool, have been together since they were both 17.
Liam works as a plater, and Elizabeth said: “He has been a fantastic partner and best friend over the past six years.”
She said he had also been there for her when three members of her family had died.
Speaking about the Bride of the Year competition, she said: “I would be over the moon to win.
“We have been through so much, we can’t afford a wedding at the minute but want nothing more than to be man and wife.”