As new mom Victoria Judge says of her daughter Charlotte, "I don't think anyone expected her to survive that day, but I firmly believe that the doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists who cared for her so deeply, made all the right decisions that day. They are the reason we have our sweet Charlotte home and doing well at nine months now."
Healthcare workers often wonder how much of a difference they make on lives and on the people they touch. Victoria Judge can attest to the care provided for her little girl and wanted to say thank you to Drs. Christina Goodridge, Ann Chau and Malektaj Yazdani, along with Drs. Staci Olister and Joseph Miller, as well as the Woman & Child staff, Respiratory and all who cared for Charlotte during her hospital stay. The dedication and compassion shown was extraordinary.
In January of this year, Victoria had complications that were going to make her deliver early. She was only 22 weeks and 2 days into her pregnancy and doctors said that the baby would have a huge uphill battle to survive, let alone have a healthy outlook. The odds were not in her favor. She was inverted to extend labor as long as possible, and it did for 15 days. Victoria delivered at just over 24 weeks.
Victoria said of the staff, "They gave me the information I needed to put my mind at ease and know what I was facing. But more importantly, they held my hand and gave me hope. They told me stories of those who had made it through similar situations, and some of the stories were their very own. They did more than just give me medicine and treat my symptoms, they gave compassionate care."
Charlotte was born on January 17, 2012 and weighed 1 lb. 8 oz. She stayed at EJGH for about two months. Over that time Charlotte had good days and bad days. Victoria credits the staff for helping her get over the fear of caring for such a tiny baby, helped her provide breast milk and explained everything, every step of the way.
On March 16, Charlotte took a turn for the worse and it became a fight for survival. She was septic and unstable. Victoria says the entire EJGH staff did absolutely everything they could, "leaving no stone unturned when it came to saving her life." The medical decision was made to transfer Charlotte to Children's Hospital when she became stable, but the treatment she received at EJGH was what saved her life.
"The day she made a turn for the worse was an absolutely terrible day," Victoria says. "But I am eternally grateful to the nurses and staff at EJGH for keeping her going and ultimately saving her life."
Today, Charlotte is doing great. She recently had her nine month check-up and is healthy. Although weight gain was slow, Charlotte is now topping 12 lbs., a big difference from her less than 2 lbs. start.
"Anyone can give medicine, but it takes someone special to truly care for patients," says Victoria. "I know everyone we encountered at East Jefferson cared for our child and our family."