Sam Bulmer and her partner Elliot were ecstatic when they became pregnant
But pregnancy revealed an underlying issue in Ms Bulmer’s spine called AVM
She collapsed and needed to deliver her baby via an emergency C-section
Now, she is facing extensive rehab while adjusting to life as a first-time mum
A mother has been left paralysed from the waist down and with a swelling on her spine after giving birth for the first time.
Sam Bulmer, from Queensland, and her partner Elliot were delighted when they became pregnant with their first child.
But the pregnancy revealed an underlying issue in Ms Bulmer’s spine called Arteriovenous malformation or AVM.
It meant that she had to have an emergency C-section to deliver her daughter, named River Lily, on June 8.
Now, Ms Bulmer is in hospital, facing extensive rehab and needing constant care herself while adjusting to life as a first-time mum.
Sam Bulmer (pictured) has been left paralysed from the waist down and with a swelling on her spine after giving birth for the first time
‘The main hardship is being a full-time 24/7 mum from a bed,’ she said.
‘I choose to co-sleep so River never leaves my side unless [her friend] Sammy holds her while I shower or have personal hygiene attended to, or when she needs to be weighed.
‘So being a mother in a bed isn’t what I ever imagined and it’s quite hard.’
‘I breastfeed there, change nappies, make bottles for top up feeds, dress her, I eat and drink there. My entire existence is in this bed.’
The problem became apparent in the 37th week of her pregnancy when Ms Bulmer started feeling an immense shooting pain down her spine, which then took over her entire body.
Ms Bulmer and her partner Elliot were delighted when they became pregnant with their first child but the pregnancy revealed underlying issues
She collapsed and was taken to hospital that night – and her baby was delivered the following day.
‘Throughout the night at hospital, she had four more of these attacks, which she described as a feeling of being shot,’ her good friend Sammy Moore said.
‘It was the most excruciating pain she could ever imagine and she thought she was dying.
‘She felt like she was having a heart attack.’
Multiple scans and tests led doctors to discover Ms Bulmer has a very rare condition in her spine called AVM, meaning a cluster of blood vessels, arteries and veins were wrapped around spinal cord.
The pregnancy meant that too much pressure had been placed on her spinal cord and the vessels had ruptured.
Without her pregnancy, Ms Bulmer may never have found out about the condition that she may have been born with.
The days following were hard on her both physically and emotionally.
As well as dealing with the pain her body was experiencing, Ms Bulmer also had to cope with the difficulties associated with becoming a first-time mum.
The swelling in her spine and the lower half of her body will take weeks or even months to subside – and only then will doctors be able to assess if there’s any permanent damage.
‘If there was too much pressure and damage has been done she will be in a wheel chair for the rest of her life,’ Ms Moore added.
‘If it is just a case of swelling and releasing some pressure, there may still be a hope she will walk.’
Ms Moore, who flew up from Tasmania to help her friend, began a MyCause campaign to help Ms Bulmer and her family.
She said Ms Bulmer’s partner Elliot is doing his best to support her and their newborn baby, but will have to return to work soon.
‘I’ve made this page in the hope that we can raise enough money so Elliot can spend more time with Sam, to get some of Sam’s family over here from England and to ensure she gets all the care and support she needs whilst still being able to be with her baby girl,’ Ms Moore added.