Sharadan Parks always wanted a family of her own, but she knew her journey to parenthood would be a difficult one. She, along with her husband, Sam, leaned on the team at Quincy Medical Group (QMG) to help get them through what would be a difficult road and depends on them now to care for their young family.
“While miscarriage is fairly common, we knew ahead of time that there was a close family history of frequent miscarriage,” Sharadan shared.
Dr. Deborah Woodard, QMG obstetrician, was their first stop. Knowing the challenges they faced, the couple put their trust in Dr. Woodard. Sharadan said she was key in helping her and Sam become parents.
“Dr. Woodard advocated for us from the beginning. Rather than having to sit with the uncertainty of a wait and see approach, Dr. Woodard partnered with us to be proactive in our journey. We did a lot of testing and research to make sure that we could take an informed approach,” she said.
That approach included guidance from QMG Hematologist and Oncologist Dr. Raymond Smith. Sharadan was diagnosed with MTHFR mutation, a gene that means your body cannot absorb folic acid properly, it struggles to metabolize certain hormones.
The months ahead would lead to many ups and downs, but Sam and Sharadan eventually welcomed two healthy babies – daughter, Kenley, age 7, and son, Elliot, age 4. Though their story had a happy ending, the emotional and physical impact took its toll. The couple experienced three miscarriages.
“Part of our fertility journey involved genetic testing and intervention with Dr. Smith. He is a wonderfully caring and compassionate doctor. He mourned and celebrated with us throughout all five of our pregnancies.”
They felt that same support from Dr. Woodard and her team.
“Dr. Woodard and her nursing staff were unbelievably caring and supportive through all of the testing, treatment, our three crushing losses, and with the births of our two perfect babies. We are incredibly grateful to each of them. Dr. Woodard is love personified and we are very fortunate to have her in our lives.”
Now, with two active children, Sam and Sharadan sought a pediatrician who would take the best care of them. Finding the perfect match in a pediatrician is important for families, and they found that with QMG Pediatrician Dr. Lindsay Brink. Their special connection was evident from their very first visit.
“I immediately took heart when I noticed that Dr. Brink was talking to my children as much as Sam and me the first time we saw her for well checks,” Sharadan recalled. “She makes sure that she engages with the whole family. Chatting with parents helps children learn who can be trusted but engaging the kids themselves makes them feel seen and heard. That’s just everything when a child is in a new situation or isn’t feeling well.”
Sharadan said she enjoys her visits with Dr. Brink and so do her children. She recalls one special moment, when Dr. Brink confirmed her mom’s instincts. As a mom herself, Dr. Brink connects with her families.
“As mommies, there are certain things that we instinctively know about our children. Our Kenley was really sick with influenza. I instinctively knew that’s what it was based on how she smelled. While that seems a bit silly and anecdotal, Dr. Brink immediately confirmed that she knew exactly what I meant,” she shared. “Of course, we tested her to be sure but to have your instincts acknowledged in those moments when your child is very sick does wonders for building trust. It was a small moment but it meant so much to me. She has mastered the balance between the clinical and personal.
QMG has been part of many important moments in the Parks family and that comfort and trust means a lot to them.
Sharadan shared, “We are a happy QMG family.”