Woman's heart stopped three times while giving birth

Sarah Parkes and her baby.
Sarah Parkes and her baby. Photo credit: Supplied

An Australian mother-of-three has survived after 'dying' three times during her caesarean section.

Sarah Parkes lost all the blood in her body eight times during the birth, requiring 128 bags of blood - the hospital's entire supply.

Her heart also stopped three times during the procedure. 

The 34-year-old and her baby both survived the traumatic event and two years later are both happy and healthy.

Ms Parkes has now issued a thank you to blood donors everywhere, and is helping raise awareness during Australia's National Blood Donors Week.

"It was horrific, but I can't thank the blood donation (service) enough," the Coffs Harbour mother told AAP.

After having had caesareans for her two older children, Ms Parkes knew her pregnancy was high risk.

What she and her doctors didn't know was thather placenta had attached to her bladder, leaving her life at risk when she went into hospital to deliver her baby at 34 weeks.

"When I got cut open, they hit a major blood vessel and I started bleeding to death," she said.

"My placenta is just pumping blood everywhere and they can't close me up because my placenta needs to be removed. I had seven minutes left to live. Without a vascular surgeon being next door, I wouldn't have survived."

Blood Service spokesperson Cath Stone urges people to take one hour of their day to donate blood and make it a regular, life-saving habit.

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