A Travel Worth the Ride

pregnant ucmc patientDuring a routine prenatal 20-week ultrasound, Jeff and Lisa Baxter of Sumter, South Carolina, discovered the sex of their baby. They were thrilled to be expecting a girl, especially after difficulties getting pregnant. However, their excitement was cut short when the technician said, “I will be back. I need to show something to the doctor.” Jeff said his heart dropped. The doctor returned with the technician a few moments later and said that their baby girl had complications. He explained that her heart was on the right side of her chest, which is not typical. Jeff admitted, “It’s felt like a roller coaster ride ever since.”

Lisa and Jeff started meeting with fetal medicine doctors, pediatric cardiologists and genetic counselors for their daughter Lindsey’s multiple conditions including: Dextrocardia; Dextroposition of the heart; Absence Ductus Venoses (ADV) and Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). Lindsey’s heart, lungs and bowels were all being compromised. Her condition was life-threatening so the Baxter’s felt it was in their best interest as parents to give Lindsey the best treatment possible starting immediately while in-utero, which led them from Sumter to Columbia to Charleston (MUSC) to Cincinnati. Both Lisa and her baby Lindsey benefitted from the expertise of fetal medicine doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) and University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

lisa and babyLisa spent close to a month in UC Medical Center’s antepartum unit where her baby could be monitored prior to delivery. She said it was tough leaving her home to come to a new city, especially because her husband couldn’t be there with her at first because of work. She said the hardest part was being contained in a room with no friends or family. Being athletic, Lisa felt all the more cooped up. Lisa admitted, however, that it didn’t take long before her care team felt like family watching over her day and night.

Lisa said when she met nurse, Robert Hitzler for the first time, “He walked in as chipper as he could be. He saw that I was stir crazy and asked if there was anything he could do to make my day better. And he really meant it.” Lisa said she replied, “I would LOVE to get off this floor!” Bob returned later with a wheelchair to take her on an hour-long tour of the hospital making stops at several places along the way including Starbucks where she got her favorite drink. Lisa said, “Bob went way above and beyond for me and he really didn’t have to. It was so nice of him to do that at a time when things were really crazy and overwhelming.” Lisa said her entire care team was “amazing” and made her feel comfortable and at ease. She said she was glad that she and her husband had made the decision to come to UC Medical Center. They knew all along that they were in the right place, at the right time.

lindsay baby ucmcLindsey was born via C-section about a month after her mom’s arrival at UC Medical Center. Today, after a month of surgeries and procedures at Cincinnati Children’s, the Baxter’s are heading back home to Sumter, SC to begin their lives as a family. Lindsey will have a feeding tube (NG Tube) for a month or two and lots of doctor’s visits but the Baxter’s feel ready to return home and be with their friends and family. They said they feel lucky to have been in such good hands in Cincinnati.


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