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Your Gifts Matter: How the Foundation Saves Lives


Heather: It was Christmas Eve 2018, and Gavin and I were actually sitting on this couch right here, watching some TV, and all of a sudden, I realized that something wasn't right and realized that my water was breaking. So we got to the hospital and they brought us back to a birthing room, and as we started going through everything, I was having normal contractions, normal labor pains, and then all of a sudden, one of the nurses came in and stated that something wasn't right.

Sara: They arrived on Christmas Eve towards the start of my shift, and I thought to myself, "What a wonderful gift for this couple "to have a baby on Christmas morning." Really, I couldn't think of anything better. Suddenly, things changed with baby's heart rate, and we did multiple interventions and needed to act quickly. Luckily, Dr. Baker was just down the hall and she was not the primary provider, but she came in and helped.

Heather: When Dr. Baker came into the room and she went to place that heart rate monitor, she realized that something was not right. She told me that I had to try and get Zander out right away and asked that I do whatever is needed to try and get him out. I started pushing, and within a few pushes, luckily got him out. At this point, that's when Gavin and I realized that something wasn't right. He was not breathing. Gavin and I did look over and we saw that they were performing CPR on Zander.

Sara: Zander came out not breathing, limp, and I think I will forever see that image in my mind. But our staff acted quickly and we were able to do the necessary things to help revive him and to stabilize him and get him ready to be transported to another hospital. And part of our preparation for deliveries like this is working with our mannequins that are provided through the Foundation.

Heather: So I understand that they had a infant mannequin that was purchased with Foundation funds and that they were able to practice CPR on that infant mannequin. So I think that definitely helped the nursing staff and the doctors to react quickly and feel confident in reacting in the way that they did.

Sara: We've had mannequins in the past, but the most recent mannequin that we received is much more lifelike. It encourages us as a group to communicate better with each other and to communicate effectively with each other and what we need.

Heather: They had performed CPR on him, and then all of a sudden, they started to get some vital signs off of him and were able to revive him. The hard part is that when, after he was born, you know, Gavin came up and asked me what he should do, if he should follow Zander to the Children's Hospital or if he should stay with me, because at this point, when Zander was about to leave, I was hemorrhaging. So Gavin had to make a tough call, but I told him, I said, "You follow our son wherever he goes, "you do not let him out of your sight."

Sara: So even though we are a rural hospital, and just overall, the percentage of deliveries that require extensive resuscitation are few, we need to be ready, whether it's two o'clock in the morning or whether it's Christmas morning. And through the Foundation and their funds, that helps make that possible.

Sue: The Foundation supports the Birth Center in many ways.

Jessie: We were able to practice and to be prepared, and that's what helped us save Zander's life on that Christmas morning.

Heather: There was a lot of people that kind of helped us bring Zander into this world, and we still keep in touch with a lot of that team, because we are so very grateful for all of the work that they did. All of the team members that were in place, all of the nursing staff were more than wonderful.

Sara: I still get updates occasionally and see pictures of him, and he's a beautiful baby boy, and I will think of him every Christmas morning for the rest of my life.

Gavin: The team at the Sauk Prairie Hospital was amazing. I'm really speechless for words, because, you know, we have our son.

Sue: When people donate to the Foundation, they support patients like Zander. Your gift makes a difference in the lives of our patients.

Heather: Thank you to those who have donated to the Foundation. It helped save our son's life.

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