Mom With Brain Condition Risked Life to Deliver Newborn


She knew the risks.

A West Virginia mom, who found out she had a life-threatening brain condition while pregnant, risked her life to save her baby.

Jennifer Chase Shinsky, 38, said she was experiencing blurry vision and dizziness when she was around five months pregnant in July 2017, but thought some of the symptoms were due to pregnancy.

“I was having stiff neck muscles as well,” Shinsky told

Shinsky went to eye doctor to see about her vision and he referred her to a neurologist for an MRI. 

It was then that doctors found abnormal blood cells on her brain. She was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation.

At 28 weeks pregnant, it put her life at risk.

“They said the concern was the blood vessels bursting,” Shinsky said. “Being pregnant, you have increased blood flow. The main concern is death.”

Shinsky and doctors wanted to give her son, Wesley, a chance to continue to develop so she waited until she was 29 weeks and six days to have a C-section. 

Doctors put a pressure monitor in her skull at the same time of the surgery to keep tabs on her brain.

The surgery, combined with her condition, was life-threatening.

The mom was also worried about the complications for her son with a premature birth.

After the delivery Wesley was taken to the NICU where he’d remain for 45 days, but other than needing a feeding tube and help breathing, he was healthy.

“There were some days I felt guilty for not being with him every day,” Shinsky said.

But, it was all worth it as 9-month-old Wesley and mom are doing well now.