Over-the-Moon Care for Emory

EmoryChanda Brashears was feeling great at 25 weeks into her second pregnancy. So well, in fact, that she was cleared to travel to Amarillo for Christmas with her husband, Brad.

The pregnancy was considered high-risk for Chanda, 34, who had been diagnosed with an incompetent cervix during her first pregnancy with son Benton. Because of this, Chanda was being extra-cautious not to engage in strenuous activities that might lead to an early delivery. All was going well until her water broke on Dec. 26, 2013.

An Extended Stay in Amarillo

Chanda was put on bed rest in a local hospital to delay the baby’s delivery as long as possible. Although the rest did some good, baby Emory arrived at 28 weeks and 3 days ― weighing in at a mere 2 pounds, 6 ounces.

Despite her prematurity, Emory was stable so the family planned to remain in Amarillo until both mom and baby could be released from the hospital. Then they got the news that changed everything.

“Once Emory was diagnosed with PVL (periventricular leukomalacia), we decided a transport to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas was in her best interest to get her the pediatric radiologist, neurologist, developmental pediatrician and Special Care Nursery that Amarillo was lacking,” Chanda said. “We wanted to get early intervention and establish relationships in Dallas to give her every chance we could for a life without challenges.”

A Bumpy, But Worthwhile, Journey to Dallas

Chanda’s call to Texas Health Dallas to inquire about a possible transfer for medical necessity was received by neonatal transport nurse Carla Holland, B.S.N., RNC, C-NPT. Holland reviewed the case with a neonatologist on the Texas Health Dallas medical staff, and responded within just minutes to let Chanda know that a team was on its way.

“Helping bring this family home and place little Emory in a facility where her progress and care could be monitored by all levels of specialists is why I do NICU nursing and transport,” Holland said. “Thinking outside the box is essential in any transport, even more so in this delicate situation. We had the resources to make a difference, so that’s what we did.”

Emory was scheduled to be transported via CareFlite but the plane that was dispatched experienced mechanical issues and was unable to return to Dallas after arriving in Amarillo. Attempts to find another jet that could fit the baby’s incubator failed.

“Because Carla is amazing, she arranged to bring Emory via ambulance,” Chanda reflected. “I am eternally grateful to her and the transport team for enduring a long, cold day to bring Emory back, and to neonatologist Dr. Sally Haas for being available to talk through Emory’s treatment plan with us.”

Special Care for a Special Child

Emory quickly graduated from the NICU to the Special Care Nursery at Texas Health Dallas, where she continues to make great strides. She has doubled in weight and is breastfeeding and taking a bottle like a pro.

Chanda is also making strides in caring for baby Emory, with a little help from the nurses in the Special Care Nursery. She has received support from a lactation consultant and an occupational therapist who showed her how to kangaroo care for Emory by placing her daughter close to her bare chest.

“I am beyond thrilled to be back in Dallas and especially at Texas Health Dallas,” Chanda said. “The facilities here are top-notch with amenities that make staying with Emory very convenient, and the nurses have been so talented in allowing me to be hands on with her while still being available if I need help. This is where we delivered my son and we were pleased then, but now we are over-the-moon thrilled with the care we have received with Emory!”

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