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Through the eyes of a father: Life at Akron Children’s Part 2: The NICU

Jordyn

JordThis is part 2 of a 3-part series.

This is part 2 of a 3-part series. (Read part 1.)

This is the story about our life at Akron Children’s Hospital. I began to journal on Day 1 as it was just Jordyn and me at the hospital making hard decisions together, with her Mommy still recovering at Robinson.

It was difficult being alone. However, these decisions were not taken lightly and not without the guiding hand and understanding of all the men and women I was about to be associated with regarding her recovery plan.

As you can imagine I was scared. I kept wondering what was going on and what was going to happen.

Yet every answer, every decision was presented with compassion. There was someone there to help.

As one technical team member would sit with me to discuss their procedure, the rest of the team stood only feet away patiently waiting their turn.

As one would finish, the next would step up, introduce themselves and explain not only the procedure they would be doing, but to ask me what I needed, what my concerns were, and giving me time to gather my senses and wipe away more tears than I had ever experienced in my lifetime.

There was a 24-hour nurse at Jordyn’s incubator at all times to ask questions and listen as I shared my experiences with her. She listened constantly as she observed the monitors connected to Jordyn.

jordyn-brigham-3I recall the loneliness I felt during those first few hours but wa

s reassured time and again that I was not alone. They were there for anything I needed, and that’s when I discovered I was not in control. There was a greater power working on my behalf. I was helpless in the hands of God.

I was helpless in the hands of the doctors, surgeons and medical staff at Children’s. But what I learned through these days of helplessness was that I was never alone or helpless.

In my opinion, Akron Children’s Hospital houses some of the most profound medical teams in the nation, and all of them are passionate and comforting.

There were days when I cried uncontrollably and felt as if the world was crashing down on me. But each morning, I was motivated by the blessed gift that laid her pretty little head inside the machine that kept her warm, guarded by the nurse who never left her side.

I was humbled that I really didn’t have to do anything but eat and rest – Akron Children’s did the rest. And that was no small task.

Jordyn was born with a birth defect in which the rectum is malformed. The decision to give her a colostomy was made within 24 hours of birth. Reconstructive surgery would be done at 3 months and the reversal of the colostomy around her 5th month of life.

These were trying times as we had never been through such a test of our strength, but faith in these doctors and most importantly our faith in God, prevailed through it all. We depended on families and friends for strength and guidance.

Ken holding Jordyn in NICU

Ken holding Jordyn in NICU

This was difficult as not everyone can be at your side for comfort, so emails, text messages and Facebook statuses were a constant connection. Nothing could stop us from acknowledging the emotional support and force that was keeping us motivated and positive within these walls.

The nurses kept us well informed and oftentimes carefree. They did so much for us. Without Children’s medical staff, this story would not be possible.

We were blessed with amazing outcomes as Jordyn, nicknamed “Baby J” and known as a 1 percenter to her surgical and medical team, had the strength to make a full recovery ahead of schedule.

The miracles we witnessed were greater than many of the staff had seen before, and I sat down to share my experience and give my Baby J something to remember. It was a poem entitled “Journey with Jordyn,” and it was written on the 16th day of February, 2011.

I posted the poem to my Facebook account, and what happened next was an emotional rollercoaster. A friend read it and posted it to the website of Christian radio station 95.5 “The Fish.”

My poem caught the eye of Brooke of the Len and Brooke morning show, and moments after reading it, texts and calls started coming in. Many listeners called to express their gratitude.

As my wife and I walked to the hospital from the Ronald McDonald House, it was apparent many of the medical staff listened to the same station. Before I knew it, I was taken to the hospital’s 5th floor where a laminated copy was placed in my hands for a keepsake. I was completely moved that my poem could have such a huge impact on so many.

Read part 3: Through the eyes of a father: Life at Akron Children’s Hospital

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