BANGOR - An internal investigation is now under way at Eastern Maine Medical Center after a young mother died from a flesh eating bacteria 7 days after giving birth.
It's supposed to be the happiest time of a couples life. Giving birth to a child. But, for one Maine couple it took a devastating turn. Heather Nichols died 7 days after giving birth to her daughter Ruby. A family friend says she passed from Necrotizing Fasciitis, a flesh eating bacteria.
"Anytime a patient dies unexpectedly at EMMC its a heart breaking event." Says James Raczek, Chief Medical Officer at EMMC.
An event the hospital takes extremely seriously. "We put together a group of clinical experts to include myself and those who cared for the patient." Says, Raczek. "Try to find out why an infection occurs. We try to find out what the sources were."
Cases like this are rare. Raczek says, "The type of infections that cause tissue to be destroyed are uncommon." Raczek goes on to say there are steps you can take to keep your body healthy. "Good nutrition, don't smoke, and follow the advice of your obstetrician."
But the questions remain. How did this happen and can it happen again. "We always want to review them and try to really figure out how we can do things differently."
Heather Nichols was laid to rest on Tuesday, a family friend has set up a fund to help support her husband Matthew and daughter Ruby.
Andrew joined the WVII ABC 7 and WFVX FOX 22 News team in June of 2012. Since a young child he always wanted to pursue a career in Broadcast Journalism, and is honored to start his journey in Eastern Maine. He enjoys nothing more than meeting the members of the community and sharing their stories with our viewers.
Raised in Houston, Texas, Andrew graduated from Suffolk University located in Boston, Massachusetts where he majored in Communications. Before moving up to the Pine Tree State, Andrew was a student reporter for The Morning Show on New England Cable News (NECN).
When not in the newsroom, Andrew enjoys volunteering at the Bangor Humane Society. You can see him there at least once a week interacting with many of the dogs. He also enjoys cooking, reading, watching his favorite movies, and going to the gym.
Make sure to say hi when you see him on the streets, and mention Finding Nemo (his favorite movie) if you want some brownie points!