I would just like to say that the care provided by the doctors and staff at Akron Children’s Hospital is exceptional. A year and a half ago, my husband and I gave birth to our first child, Emily Anne, having seen nothing in ultrasound, we were shocked to learn that Emily was born with many anomalies.
Emily had a right side diaphragmatic hernia, duodenal atresia, a bicornuate uterus and many other issues. Having been born 6 weeks early, Emily only weighed 3lbs. 7 oz at birth. The neonatologist who oversaw Emily’s case, Dr. Grow, was nothing but optimistic and informative. Everyday she made sure that as a mother I got to hold my child as much as possible, which was not easy for the nurses since Emily was intubated and had many bells and whistles going on inside her incubator.
Emily had an amazing surgeon, Dr. Pittinger repaired her intestine and gave us some extra time with our little sweet pea. Unfortunately, due to Emily’s size and lack of lung capacity, Emily passed away 2 weeks after she was born. Although our story did not have a happy ending, we will never forget the nurses and neonatologist who did everything they could for our little guardian angel.
The support we got from Akron Children’s Hospital did not end when our daughter passed way. We kept in contact with Dr. Grow and she did everything possible to make sure we got as much information about our daughter’s condition as possible. She helped us in retrieving necessary test results and making sure that we were taken care of even after Emily had passed away.
This past December, my husband and I gave birth to another baby girl, Ella. Of course, Ella came 5 weeks early and had to be placed in Akron General’s Special Care Nursery, which we learned was also apart of Akron Children’s Hospital.
As you can imagine, it was incredibly hard to see another child having to receive special care. We quickly learned however that we were not alone, along with some new faces, were some familiar faces from Emily’s case. What I found incredible was that they remembered us as if it were yesterday. We were once again taken very good care of and bonded with the nurses, nurse practitioners and neonatologist.
Although, I know that every case is very special to them, we felt that our daughter was the only baby in the nursery and they were going to do everything possible to make sure our experience was different. A week after Ella was born she was released and came home with us. As you can imagine we were elated. What I thought was more unique was the amount of hugs and support we got. The staff was so excited that we were bringing our baby home and asked us to keep in touch.
Many of them informed us that we were unusual because during Emily’s life, we spent a lot of time in the NICU and made sure that our daughter knew she was loved. What I want to relay to them and to everyone else is, the nurses, doctors and staff were the unusual ones. I know it is their job to take care of my children, but they took care of us. We were not alone in the passing of our first born. We were supported then and continue to be supported. I choose to remember these memories from both our daughters’ lives.
Many would say that the NICU would bring up many bad memories, we choose to remember only the good memories…holding my Emily for the first time, getting her baptized in the NICU, getting to do skin to skin with both Emily and Ella. These are the memories that we take with us. These are the important things. The staff at the hospital made sure we received these memories, and made sure that even though Emily had a minimal chance of survival, that her life was never taken for granted, not one second. They did everything possible to save our daughter, and when she passed away, they did not just walk away, they stood with us, consoling us, making sure we knew we did everything we could do. We will never forget the instrumental people in our life. Dr. Grow will always be a huge part of my life. I will always look upon her as part of my family, not just my daughters’ doctor. How many people can say that?
We are happy to have Ella at home and received many cards and special notes from the staff who took care of us for both of our daughters. We will never forget the treatment we received. At the end of a dark tunnel, there is light…for us, the doctors, nurses and staff at Children’s Hospital was that light. I have attached an image of both of our daughters. Ella is so blessed to have an angel up in heaven!