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Cassandra and Jeremiah Haughton – Special Care Nursery Success Story

Special Delivery: Early Arrival

Cassandra Haughton, her family, and JeremiahIt was Oct. 30, 2011, and Cassandra Haughton had just delivered her son Jeremiah. However, at only 31 weeks' gestation, Jeremiah was born several weeks early and weighed only 3 pounds, 6 ounces.

"Of course my husband and I were nervous, but we had discussed it with the doctor before I delivered," Haughton says. "We felt that God had brought us this far in the pregnancy, and he would take us the rest of the way."

Haughton and Jeremiah also had the support and specialized treatment of the Special Care Nursery team at Methodist Charlton Medical Center.

"It was a really good experience," she says. "The nurses were very helpful and answered all of our questions. They took such good care of Jeremiah."

Cassandra and Jeremiah Haughton

When Jeremiah left the Special Care Nursery at 5 weeks old, he weighed 4 pounds, 12.5 ounces.

His mom says the staff hated to see him go, showering him with gifts when he left. "They still contact me to see how he's doing," she says.

Haughton also speaks highly of Jeremiah's physician, Ashmead Ali, MD, independently practicing neonatologist on the Methodist Charlton medical staff, who specializes in the most complex and high-risk care of newborns.

"I was very pleased with Dr. Ali and how he talked with us and explained everything," Haughton says.

Extra special care

"Newborns who come to our Special Care Nursery are usually preterm (less than 35 weeks) or have complications after delivery, such as breathing difficulties or infections," says Alaana Garris, clinical coordinator of the Special Care Nursery at Methodist Charlton. "As a high-functioning level II nursery, we offer a higher level of care, extended respiratory support, and specialty services for newborns recovering from more serious conditions."

The medical professionals in the nursery are capable of assessing, diagnosing, and managing newborns requiring:

  • Oxygen therapy
  • Cardiorespiratory monitoring
  • Nasal continuous positive airway pressure
  • Long-term intravenous fluid and antibiotic therapy
  • Tubal feedings
  • Complete short-term breathing support
  • Support at deliveries with anticipated complications.

Garris says what makes the Special Care Nursery so special is the fact that it is family-centered.

"We really promote family bonding and family time," she says. "Because the Special Care Nursery staff handles so much of the newborn care the family normally would perform, we try to give parents as much involvement as possible in caring for the baby's needs."

From the summer 2012 edition of Shine magazine.