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Wichita Falls Woman Risks Her Life to Become a Mother

A Wichita Falls woman recently gave the most precious gift a mother can give to her child: the gift of life.  But in order to do that, she had to risk her own.
    It's the decision that no mother wants to be faced with, but when it came down to her life or her baby's, 27-year-old Ashley Rhodes-Reid made sure her family and friends knew where she stood on the decision.
    Heather Rhodes, Ashey's sister-in-law, says, "She almost presented it like it wasn't an option.  This was what she wanted and she knew it."
    Reid, who graduated from Wichita Falls High School in 2003, was diagnosed with a heart condition when she was young.
    Rhiannon Blankenship, who was friends with Ashley, says, "She had a heart condition called Marfans she lived with all her life.  In being pregnant, her aorta enlarged."
    Because of the condition, she was considered a high-risk pregnancy.
    "We saw several, several doctors that said, 'It might come down to you or baby,'" Rhodes says.
    And unfortunately, that's what it came down to last Thursday at Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth where she had been on bed rest for a week.
    "She didn't wake up, and when the monitors went on, she wasn't responding, so they took her down and did an emergency C-section," Rhodes says.  "They tried to resuscitate her electrically, and they couldn't bring the momma back."
    Doctors were able to save the baby girl, Madison Claudia Rhodes, who's still recovering at Harris Methodist Hospital.
    "She really wanted to have a baby," Blankenship says.  "It's great that she risked her life for her, but sad and hard for the family and friends."
    Reid's friends say baby Madison symbolizes everything good about their friend: bravery, selflessness, and a mother's love.
    Visitation for Ashley is tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. at Davis Funeral Home in Henrietta.
    Services are tomorrow at 11 at the Henrietta Cowboy Church.
    Ashley's parents will be raising Madison and are starting over from scratch.
    There are accounts set up under "Ashley Rhodes-Reid at Texoma Community Credit Union and the Wichita Falls Credit Union if you want to help out financially.
    Funds will be used to make sure Madison has everything she needs, including clothes, diapers, and formula.
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