Avera Queen of Peace in Mitchell provides professional health care services for patients who need it at home. Nancy Naeve Brown has more on a new family who wouldn't be able to leave their home if it weren't for home health care.
Andi and Jay Waldow of Mitchell are the proud parents of 14 month old Aubrey who was born 2 1/2 months early by emergency C-section. She weighed only two and a half pounds and had a lot of life threatening complications.
"Her little life started out rough. Immediately after birth they couldn't get her intubated so they trached her. Just being a few minutes old she had her first surgery. She spent 87 days in the NICU," her mom Andi said.
Aubrey was born with micrognathia which means her jaw was smashed back into her head. It's affected all the bones in her face and ears along with bones in her hands and arms. She is double jointed in her arms and that's preventing her from crawling right now. Because her small jaw pushed her tongue over the airway so she had no way to breath. If the trach wouldn't have been successful she wouldn't be here today, "Andi said.
She's already had 7 surgeries including a major one in November to put her jaw in the right position.
"It's been a long road, very long road, "Andi said.
Bringing your first baby home is nerve racking for any parent so imagine the fear of bringing home a baby who is breathing through a pin hole essentially and relies on a feeding tube. For the Waldow's some of those worries subsided with the help of Avera Queen of Peace's Home Health Care Services. Registered Nurse Jen Hohn goes to the Waldow's home 2 to 3 times a week, sometimes more, depending on their schedule.
"I've been seeing her since she was a little peanut and now she is so big already and learned so much really neat, "Jen Hohn, RN with Avera Queen of Peace Home Health Care Services said.
"Having a baby changes your life in many circumstances having a baby who is medically needy you don't have a life. I've had to quit by job and school. Jay is the soul provider. My whole life is her. Her doctor appointments, surgeries so with home health I'm able to get out and at least go grocery shopping, go to the gym. During cold and flu season she can't go outside and that means I can't go anywhere so at least I'm able to go to the bank, run errands and things, "Andi said.
Andi and Jay will tell you this journey has been overwhelming at times but are so thankful for what they call the sanity breaks home health provides, but most of all they will tell you they feel blessed to love and raise this strong willed beautiful little girl.
Baby Aubrey will undergo 5 more surgeries before year's end. Her mom and dad want to get them all done while she's a toddler so she won't remember them.
Avera Queen of Peace Home Health serves approximately 120 patients a year in a 35 mile area around Mitchell from birth age to the elderly. They've served thousands of patients over the past 20+ years.