NICU program permits demise In Minnesota, a new father was allowed to hold his infant son.
Previous Lake, Minnesota Time is valuable. That saying has probably been used before. But what happened in Prior Lake might be the best illustration.
It’s a tearjerking, yet happy, tale. And it all began with a virtual date.
Rob met Amanda Calvin for a drink in Red Wing while she was completing her residency in pulmonary medicine at the Mayo Clinic.
She said, “Gregarious is a very good word for him. He observed the excitement in most things like a giant child, whereas adults tend to miss that.
She can recall the precise second she realized she loved him. They were purchasing supplies to build a wooden bench at a hardware store.
She recalled thinking, “I just remember thinking, I don’t want to be anywhere else but here. “Even though I don’t know where my phone is, it’s okay. I thought, “I suppose I kind of love him.””
When a nightmare occurred, they had just gotten engaged, bought a home in Prior Lake, and were planning their ideal wedding.
Rob started eating less and getting more sleep. Amanda remembers the shocking prognosis.
“The CT scan revealed a significant mass at the pancreatic head and numerous masses in the liver. Pancreatic cancer was what I suspected, “She spoke. “I realized right away that he wouldn’t make it. Which was difficult because it is difficult to know all of that while remaining upbeat and encouraging.”
She paused immediately because time was now a valuable resource while handling COVID patients while working in pulmonary medicine. In just two days, they organized a wedding for 100 people.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) was started, and it was successful.
My biggest worry was that I would go into labor and give birth without my husband being there, Amanda said, as she watched Rob grow sicker and sicker.
Then, as a result of a bleeding disorder, she also fell ill. Two months early delivery was necessary. Using a C-section, Finn was born.
“When Finn was born, they took him into the room next door and handed him over to Dad. He was able to hold his new child “said Amanda.
But the clock was ticking. Baby Finn required NICU care as Rob entered home hospice care.
It was challenging because I wanted to be present when my child began to eat, said Amanda. It wasn’t going to be for very long, so I wanted to be there for my husband.
A neonatologist was running an experimental program called CHAMP when a nurse at Children’s Minnesota had an idea.
The program was developed by Dr. Christina Miller and began as a research project before evolving into something special.
What’s novel about this program, according to Miller, is that you receive daily virtual care and really that connection with the neonatal team, so we’re still available if there are any issues or questions.
Finn was able to leave almost two weeks early despite having a feeding tube and arrived just in time to be in his father’s arms. Amanda claims that Rob made it to fatherhood.
In 26 days, Rob passed away.
Amanda said, “I don’t know the right words to express how important that time was to us and our family.
Even though it didn’t have a happy ending, the way it ended was happy.
Finn is doing well. On February 14, Valentine’s Day, he will turn two years old. His weight places him in the 90th percentile.
The CHAMP NICU program has been so successful that it is now being offered at Children’s in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Mercy in Coon Rapids. This has only happened in the past few months.