Just over two years ago, Amanda and Che’ Humphrey welcomed their first child, Alice. She is a happy, active toddler today. You wouldn’t know that she had a scary start to life, but her parents won’t soon forget that day and the person who saved her life.
Amanda was admitted to the hospital for preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure. Baby Alice was delivered and the Humphreys were thrilled to welcome their new addition. Amanda held Alice to try breastfeeding her for the first time.
“I was holding her and was trying to nurse her when the nurse noticed something was wrong. She asked if she could look at her. After she did, she said she was going to take her and put her on oxygen. She didn’t seem concerned at all, so we weren’t concerned,” Amanda shared.
Some time had passed, and baby Alice still hadn’t come back. The pediatrician on call that night was Dr. Samuel Healy with Quincy Medical Group (QMG).
“Dr. Healy came in and we had already chosen him as her pediatrician and it just so happened that he was the pediatrician on call that night. And he said, you know, we’re still watching her and she’s still on oxygen,” Amanda recalled. “He said she is pretty grumpy when I’ve tried to do anything with her and that’s a little alarming.”
Due to her preeclampsia, Amanda needed to receive treatment with magnesium after delivery. Once she had finished her treatment, she was taken back to a recovery room when things quickly changed.
“We had just gotten in there and gotten comfortable when Dr. Healy came flying in the room and said, ‘Your baby’s not doing well. I have to act right now. Do I have your consent?’ I said, ‘Whatever you need to do.’ And then he flew out the door,” she said.
Alice had bilateral pneumothorax. A pneumothorax is a collapsed lung that occurs when air leaks into the space between your lung and chest wall. Dr. Healy put ports in each of her lungs, but that wasn’t enough, so she was intubated. Due to that, Alice needed to be transferred to Springfield to a hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit.
“Dr. Healy came in and apologized to us because he had said, ‘I probably should have done it this way rather than that way. It wouldn’t have changed the outcome, but he still felt the need to tell us about it. And I just thought, ‘Wow, what a big person to do that,’” Amanda shared.
Alice was in the NICU at St. John’s Hospital for about a week, where she got a chest tube. She continued to get better and better with each day.
“We were only there for a week and then went home with a perfectly healthy baby because Dr. Healy saved her life. We think the world of him,” said Amanda.
Over two years later, Alice would go in for another procedure. After experiencing chronic ear infections, Dr. Healy referred her to an ENT physician. Dr. Paul Conrad, ENT physician at QMG, saw Alice and Amanda said they felt at ease with him.
“Dr. Conrad is just so laid back and he immediately makes you feel comfortable,” she said. “We were confident in him and his abilities.”
Dr. Conrad determined Alice needed tubes. She was scheduled for the procedure at the new QMG Surgery Center. The Humphreys were admittedly nervous for their daughter. As a nurse herself, Amanda said she was more nervous about how Alice would respond to the anesthesia than the procedure itself.
“I definitely trusted Dr. Conrad, but you just never know how people are going to react under anesthesia or how they’re going to wake up from that. So I think that was what was causing my nerves.”
The family was taken back to the pre-op room with Alice. As Amanda held her little girl, the QMG Surgery Center team help calm her worries.
“We kept hearing how much we would love the nurse anesthetist. They said, ‘She’s going to come in here and hold Alice while she’s going to sleep and it will be like she’s falling asleep in her arms.’ And, I thought, ‘You know my daughter doesn’t really warm up to people that well,’” Amanda said.
In came Beth Cooper, certified registered nurse anesthetist, with the QMG Surgery Center, who Amanda calls “the baby whisperer.”
“She came in and my daughter looked at her and raised her arms up like she wanted her to pick her up. It was amazing,” Amanda said with a laugh. “And then she said, ‘Okay, we’re going to go ahead and take her back there and she’s going to do great.’”
Throughout the procedure, Amanda said the team kept ongoing communication with them. Once she was finished, Amanda and Che’ were brought back to the recovery where they heard the words they prayed for: “Everything went well.”
Alice is doing great and the Humphrey family said they know their little girl is always in the best of hands with Dr. Healy and the team at QMG.