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Meet Kelly C., Parent Mentor at Akron Children's Hospital

Kelly C.

Kelly's Story

My son was born via c-section at 37 weeks, weighing 5 lbs. 7 oz., following my diagnosis of HELLP syndrome (a very severe form of pre-eclampsia where I was at risk for seizure and stroke and the only way to combat it is by delivering the baby). When he was born, he was trying to breathe so fiercely that the doctors told us it was as if he had been running a marathon. He was rushed to Akron Children's from Akron General, where I had given birth. He was diagnosed with severe respiratory distress syndrome and pulmonary hypertension. He was intubated for almost 5 days, while doctors attempted to increase the percent of oxygen in his blood. He required feedings through an NG tube and additional support through an IV.

As first-time parents, my husband and I really struggled with what was happening with our son, but the nurses and doctors at Akron Children's were phenomenal. We were at our son's side nearly 15 hours a day, only returning home to try to sleep and shower. My husband and I constantly worried about what would need to happen in order for our son to come home. Our biggest fear was having to leave his side to return home, if even for only a couple hours. After 17 days in the NICU, our son was released and we finally were able to bring him home. He is now 4 and doing amazing. He is a happy, healthy, active little boy who loves being a big brother. The care we received at Akron Children's is the reason our son is here with us today.

Kelly is a parent mentor for these conditions: Hypertension, Respiratory Distress Syndrome.

Kelly is a mentor for these care services: NICU

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