Being close to home has many advantages. Especially when you’re a new, first-time mother with a newborn in compromised health.
Kara Stan and Matthew DiBattiste’s little boy, Jude DiBattiste, was the first patient in the newly opened Akron Children’s Hospital special care nursery inside St. Joseph Warren Hospital. And the facility’s proximity to Stan’s home – a mere three blocks – proved to be a welcomed convenience for Jude’s parents that helped ease the anxiety brought on by his health concerns.
Baby Jude was delivered at St. Joseph’s May 21, 6-and-a-half weeks early and weighing 5 pounds, 4 ounces. He was diagnosed with multiple premature birth-related complications, and fit the criteria for the 6-bed special care nursery unit. There, specially trained doctors and nurses can care for babies born up to 8 weeks premature (at or greater than 32 weeks gestation), who weigh at least 3 pounds and who are physiologically immature, such as those who have breathing problems or are unable to feed orally.
Prior to the Warren facility’s opening, the only special care nursery in the Mahoning Valley was in Boardman.
“We were excited to learn Jude would be the first to use the new special care nursery,” Stan said. “Not only was it so clean and brand-new looking, but it decreased the stress one-thousand percent with it being so close to home.”
Stan was able to avoid the time, traffic and fuel costs associated with a longer drive to see her son, and it alleviated her anxiety knowing she could conveniently come and go to St. Joseph’s any time to be close to Jude without added burdens.
Jude was released from the unit June 3, a little less than two weeks after being admitted.
“He’s a little above his birth weight and taking all his feedings now,” Stan said. “The staff was phenomenal, and we couldn’t ask for a better team to take care of him. I really don’t think we could have made it without the wonderful, kind and caring support we got from everyone at the hospital.”
Akron Children’s opened the unit in May. The hospital also operates the pediatric unit located at St. Joseph Warren Hospital.