SRHC Health Beat Magazine: Thank you for the small miracles

Rachel and Andrew Cryer hold their newborn twins Scarlett and Rusty. Image courtesy of Salina Regional Health Center

By AARON ANDERS
Salina Regional Health Center

There is nothing more exciting and nerve-wracking than expecting your first newborn. As new parents expecting twins last June, Andrew and Rachel Creer of Beloit know this firsthand. The young couple ended up at Salina Regional Health Center earlier than expected because Rachel had high blood pressure and needed an iron infusion. The pregnancy required a higher level of care, so Rachel was monitored at the hospital a week before her scheduled C-section.

Cardiac arrest emergency

Ultrasound technologist Kayla Nuss had just finished performing sonograms on the twins when she noticed Andrew had stopped speaking mid-sentence. He had a fixed gaze, was half removed from his chair, and was unresponsive. Nuss quickly secured Andrew from falling, and within seconds, medical staff, a paramedic student and Amanda Raine, MD, were in the room tending to the father-to-be. Lori Faerber, director of Women and Infant Services, heard the commotion and quickly ran to the room, fearing the worst for Rachel.

“When I got to the room, I saw a whole team using their knowledge and skills to take care of Andrew,” says Faerber. “Our team swung into action and maternity center nurse Missy Haverfield tended to Rachel while medical professionals worked to resuscitate Andrew and get him to the emergency room.”

“It was a miracle”

In the emergency room, emergency physician Aaron Deeds, MD, found that Andrew had very low potassium and was in cardiac arrest—his heart had suddenly stopped pumping.

Рейчъл и Андрю Крайър държат новородените си близнаци, Скарлет и Ръсти, по време на посещение с медицинските сестри от Регионалния център за раждане в Салина Миси Хавърфийлд, Али Мартин, Тарин Поуст и Линдзи Ксайсонгкам.  <b>Image courtesy of Salina Regional Health Center</b>“/><figcaption class=Rachel and Andrew Cryer hold their newborn twins, Scarlett and Rusty, during a visit with Salina Regional Birth Center nurses Missy Haverfield, Ally Martin, Taryn Post and Lindsay Xaisongkam. Image courtesy of Salina Regional Health Center

“It was a miracle that it happened to Andrew when he was in the hospital,” Rachel says. “He came all the way from Beloit to be here for the sonogram, and if it happened while he was driving, he probably wouldn’t have made it.”

In high school, Andrew had a heart problem that was diagnosed as myocarditis. Myocarditis occurs when the heart muscle becomes inflamed in response to a viral infection.

The morning of the scheduled C-section, Rachel was allowed to visit Andrew briefly in the intensive care unit. He was unconscious and connected to a ventilator. She held his hand and prayed for the best, not knowing when he would wake up. While the C-section was being performed, the ICU staff began the process of weaning Andrew off the ventilator in the hope that he would soon regain consciousness, as it sometimes takes days or even weeks to bring patients back to normal.

The C-section went as planned—Rachel, 34 weeks pregnant, gave birth to twins Scarlett and Rusty on June 10, 2023. Later that day, Rachel was surprised to find Andrew off the ventilator and conscious. The nurses attached some portable medical equipment to a wheelchair so that Andrew could see the newborn twins at the birthing center, even though his mind and memory were still foggy.

A few days later, cardiologist Mark Mikinski, MD, advised Andrew to get an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). An ICD is a battery-powered device placed under the skin that monitors heart rate. Thin wires connect the ICD to the heart. If an abnormal heart rhythm is detected, the device will send an electric shock to restore the normal heart rhythm.

Life as a new family

Andrew received the ICD procedure and recovered a few days later. “We are grateful for the quick thinking and action of the staff, who are a real lifesaver,” says Rachel. The family got to know the nursing staff very well as the family was in the hospital for almost a month.

The twins, being premature babies, need extra care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Scarlett spent 10 days in the NICU and Rusty spent 19 days there. The family was excited to return home together after the newborns were discharged.

The Krier family is now home and doing well. Andrew and Rachel made a full recovery and are back at work.

“It’s pretty impressive that we’ve all come home after surviving the whole ordeal,” says Andrew. “We are very happy with the care we have had and the staff have been fantastic – from the cafe down in the basement all the way to the Birthing Center on the sixth floor.”

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