DOWNINGTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A Chester County mom says she's alive today because of blood transfusions after experiencing a rare and often fatal complication while giving birth.
Kayleigh Summers has her son's birthday tattooed on her arm next to the two times she coded, and the number of blood units she was given to live.
It's a juxtaposition of trauma and love she will always carry with her.
"I just remember the first time I found out I was pregnant with him," she said. "We were ecstatic."
She had a healthy pregnancy. That changed in the delivery room when she experienced an amniotic fluid embolism and needed blood transfusions to survive.
"For some of us, we have an immune-like inflammatory type reaction. We don't know why still," she explained of the condition.
Full Interview with Kayleigh Summers:
As her son was born via C-section, doctors were doing compressions on Summers to keep her alive. She coded twice.
"The complex emotions; the best thing that ever happened to me is my son being born, and it happened in the worst way that it could have," she said.
About 80% of mothers who experience the rare birthing complication that Summers did do not survive, doctors say. What saved her life was the quick action from her doctors and blood.
"They truly believed that I could survive this, and they just kept giving me blood and giving me blood to sustain and to keep me alive. And 143 units later, that's exactly what they did," she said.
Three and a half years later, Summer's son Callahan is happy and healthy, and so is she.
She shares her story of healing with thousands of social media followers as "The Birth Trauma Momma," and she holds blood drives.
At home, however, she's just mom, who says her life is possible because of blood.
"My family got to keep me. My son got to keep his mom. It's such a massive gift that you can give to others," she said.
The 6abc Philly Blood Drive is Wednesday, March 29, in Philadelphia and South Jersey.