Thursday, December 17, 2009

Medical Staff

I need to take the time to document all the FABULOUS people that have been with us on this journey for the past few months, and will continue to be with us for oh, the next few dozen years.
First off, I had the best OB ever. Dr. Weary. I told him from my first appointment, when I was 9 weeks along, that "there is just something about this baby". I was worried and paranoid, and he was extra calm with me. He did an ultrasound, showed me the heart rate, and said things were great as far as they could tell so far. I said "Good. But there is just something about this baby. I don't know what it is, but this baby is different." Turns out, there was definitely something different about this baby.
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Up until 25 weeks of pregnancy, I told Dr. Weary that I was going to be his easiest patient. In and out. No problems. Well, all that changed when I got the diagnosis of the baby's heart defects, and I went from "easiest" to "high risk" immediately. As far as the pregnancy went, there were no complications. Dr. Weary continued to see me for the regular checkups, but the responsibility of my care was taken out of his hands, and into the TEAM of doctors that saw me through the rest of the pregnancy. Anyway, I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Weary. Even though he didn't deliver the baby, he was a major part of this journey.
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There are some more people involved, that I have yet to get a picture of, but these people include Dr. Muench, our Perinatologist, and Dr. Brames, our Pediatric Cardiologist. These two men gave me my diagnosis at 25 weeks along in my pregnancy, and continued throughout the pregnancy, at each ultrasound, to explain everything, teach me, comfort me, and support me. Dr. Brames is currently Kimble's Cardiologist, located here in Colorado Springs.
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Dr. Adel Younoszai is our Pediatric Cardiologist in Denver. We met him about a month before Kimble was born, when he did a fetal echocardiogram. He did an amazing job explaining things to us in a way that we would understand them. He was gentle and supportive, and compassionate.
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After Kimble was born, Dr. Adel was with us every step of the way, explaining new procedures, telling us the different roads that we could take regarding Kimble's procedures, as well as coming by every few days, just to talk with us and see if there was anything he could do for us. He even called Heath at home, to explain some procedures that would be happening to Kimble, because Heath wasn't at the hospital at the time. We have such a deep respect for Dr. Adel.
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Jake was on rotation in the Cardiac ICU when we got there. He is on Fellowship and was so amazing and personable. He rotated between nights and days the entire month we were there and we got to know him pretty well. Being Kimble's doctor there, he was with us through many ups and downs. We knew that Jake worked hard to help Kimble through different struggles before and after his surgeries and procedures. I always teased Jake that we were his favorite patients and that he just couldn't stay away. By the end of the month, he had no choice but to agree that we were his favorites. We were so glad to have Jake with us for that month.
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Dr. Campbell, the man in the scrub hat, was the Surgeon who performed Kimble's surgeries. He was a man that reminded both Heath and I of my dad, and we had complete confidence in his abilities as a surgeon. I think he had been doing this job for over 30 years. He knew what he was doing and we trusted in that. John, the other man in the photo, assisted with the surgeries.
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Dr. Campbell was often seen around the ICU sort of swaying back and forth...humming to himself...as he listened to the report of whatever patient he was attending to. He had a motto, written on the wall of his surgical room, saying "We are here to work". He is a very impressive surgeon.



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The night after Kimble's surgery, where Dr. Campbell placed the BT Shunt, and then a few
hours later, when Dr. Campbell had to take Kimble back to surgery because of some complications, Jesse (standing next to me) was the Fellow who was Kimble's doctor during that shift. He was on rotation in the Cardiac ICU, along with Jake.
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That night was the worst night for Kimble, who coded more times than I could count. It was Jesse who called the shots, and saved our baby's life again and again. We are so grateful for his level-headedness, wisdom, and intuition that night. We were so very impressed with him, and couldn't stop thanking him for the amazing job he did.
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Next to Heath is Dr. Eduardo Da Cruz. He was the Cardiologist on rotation the last week we were in the ICU. He spoke something like 7 languages fluently, was brilliant in his field, and yet, he took the time to chat with us as often as time allowed. We trusted him explicitly.
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Along with the amazing Doctors, our nurses were extraordinary! I never had any complaints with my nurses. During my 5 weeks there, I came to know many of them personally.
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Pictured here are Ryann and Lindsey. They were with us the last few days in the Cardiac ICU, when Kimble was recovering from his very rocky post-surgery.
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We only had Jamie as a nurse once or twice, but we continued to see her all the time, as she cared for other patients. Also, when Kimble had that terrible post-op night, Jamie was one of the nurses that came over to assist with everything. We loved her.

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Suree was our very first nurse, and we had her again intermittently throughout the month. She was a ball of fire. We loved her personality. She knew what she was doing, gave us confidence, but also helped lighten the mood.

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We had Gill intermediately throughout the month as well. She was from Scotland. She certainly came to love Kimble, just as we came to love her.

There were many more nurses who were wonderful, but I didn't get pictures of them all. Everyone treated us with such respect and love and I'm so thankful that they were with us through all of our ordeals, recoveries, and the quiet times between.
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Ryleigh was the secretary in the CICU. She was always willing to do anything for us, and she always had a smiling face for us. She even carried up my 40 pound bags of frozen breast milk up to the 9th floor, when we transferred out of the unit. We loved Riley.
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Heather (not pictured) was also one of the secretaries on rotation. She, too, did everything in her power to make our stay comfortable. I am so impressed with the staff there.
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Ryleigh's Aunt, Peg, was the Welcome Coordinator for the Cardiac Unit. She came to see us all the
time just to check in with us, and often ended up staying for a long time just to chat with us, find out about our family, talk about her family (she is also one of 10 kids) and overall, making sure that we had whatever we needed. She was always smiling, always had a positive outlook, and just seemed so fresh and alive. She made me feel like I was her only focus. I loved that. Peg is a true gem.
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Ester, in the scrubs, is a surgical nurse for the ICU. She is the one that reports to us, throughout
the baby's surgeries, on how he is doing and what is going on in the surgical unit. She was also the one that gave me the tour of the hospital, before the baby was born.
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Alison is one of the Nurse Practitioners that I met before Kimble was born, and she is the one that I have all my followup appointments with. She, and Shanna (not pictured) did an amazing job of following up with me every few days, just to make sure I was being taken care of, and to talk about Kimble's care. They were so nice and supportive not only to me, but to Heath as well.
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I know this was a long post, but I simply cannot say enough good things about the medical staff at the Children's Hospital in Denver, as well as here in the Springs. The level of care that we have, and are, receiving is top notch. They made an experience that could have been terrible, become something that I am proud and blessed to have been a part of.

12 comments:

Maynards said...

Awesome post! Now you have a record of all of these wonderful people who blessed your lives so much. I am so glad we live in a day where we can have so much medical help. I love the picture of Dr. Weary with Kimble. He is such an amazing doctor and it was cool to see him holding Kimble. I bet you made his day!

Paula said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. I just hope some of the people on there get to see it. Everyone needs to feel appreciated! I am glad you have so many wonderful people to help Kimble.

The Girls' Mom said...

That was nice to see and get feel for the people who helped Kimble into an onto this world. I'm glad you two were so well cared for!

Sara said...

I really love this post because 1) you have this record forever which Kimble will someday really appreciate and 2) it really gives us your friends and readers such insight into what your month in the hospital was like and how many people it took to keep Kimble alive :) Thank you :)

Colleen said...

You all are so blessed to be cared for by these amazing people. It is amazing how one person can make ALL the difference in how you feel about an experience, and in your case you had so many more than one!

Carol said...

This is a really nice tribute to the wonderful people who helped you in your journey with Kimble thus far... well done!

Mae AJ and Conner said...

I found your blog off of one of my good friends and I have been following it for a little while. I hope you don't mind. I lost a little baby girl. I was only 26 weeks along when I had her. your story has just touched me in so many ways and I pray for your family. Thanks for being such a strong example.

Adri said...

So glad you have all these pictures! Oh how I wish I had pictures of Dallin with all his early care-givers. I'm not sure what was wrong with my brain-dead self, but in the 10 weeks we spent at the NICU, I think I only got a picture of ONE of his doctors! Drat! You'll cherish these photos always.

Elise said...

What an awesome post and idea to take pics with all of Kimble's doctors. I wish I would have done this for Matt's 9 week ordeal.

Queen of Chaos said...

WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!

basil lindah said...

Absolutely loved your special blog. Cutest baba ever! lots of love from KJ-starre's (kim watson) mum Lindah

I'm Always Rite said...

So many living breathing angels in one place! You are so blessed! ;}