KC woman returns after premature pregnancy birth in Texas

Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 6:59 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A local mom has a lot to be thankful for after going through heart failure and an emergency c-section more than a month ahead of her baby’s due date.

Nikki Maxwell was on vacation in Texas when it happened. She’s been anxious to get back to Kansas City to get follow-up care and be with her sons, ages 3 and 7.

Shortly after 5 p.m. Thursday, a Children’s Mercy Hospital medical flight landed at Charlie Wheeler Airport in downtown Kansas City with Maxwell and her newborn onboard. It was a moment Maxwell had been waiting weeks for.

She went to Texas with her mom and two boys on October 16th to spend time with them before her baby was born. Baby Aaliyah’s due date was November 24th.

“We arrived on Sunday,” Maxwell’s mother, Julia Abuoun, explained. “Monday she started having shortness of breath. On Tuesday, we took her to the ER where they told us that she was in heart failure.”

To save Maxwell’s life, little Aaliyah had to be delivered immediately. She weighed three pounds.

Now she’s up to four. Abuoun said St. Luke’s Baptist in San Antonio has provided excellent care, but Maxwell was missing her boys. Plus, Abuoun said, Maxwell hasn’t been able to get the after-care she needs because her Missouri insurance won’t cover care in Texas.

“Her heart is only functioning at 25 percent,” Abuoun explained.

Children’s Mercy stepped in to get her a medical flight home. It was the only way to return with Aaliyah in the preemie’s fragile state.

KCTV5 was at the airport when they mother and baby arrived back in Kansas City and were whisked into an ambulance.

“I’m overwhelmed,” Maxwell said from Texas before boarding the flight. “I’m so happy. I’m so happy. I want to go home. I have two boys at home, so it’s been hard for everybody. I’ve been down here with my mom.

I’m just thankful for everybody that’s helped us to getting me back home.”

Her thanks include the hospital in Texas, the Ronald McDonald House for putting her up the past two weeks, Children’s Mercy for getting her home, and St. Luke’s on the Plaza, who will be caring for Aaliyah now.

A friend has started a GoFundMe to help with medical expenses, including expensive heart medication for Nikki. You can find a link here.