Part 2: Tiny Miracles - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Part 2: Tiny Miracles

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The Suchys hold all three of their triplets for the first time. The Suchys hold all three of their triplets for the first time.
SJCH transports babies by air or by ground. SJCH transports babies by air or by ground.
Transport team makes 120-150 transports a year. Transport team makes 120-150 transports a year.
Transport team member Betty Minton explains about the transport to a Mom. Transport team member Betty Minton explains about the transport to a Mom.
Transport team in action. Transport team in action.

by Pam Warnke

MARSHFIELD (WAOW)-- Adam, Logan and Timothy Suchy are making progress since they were born in December at 24 weeks.

It's now early March, and for the very first time Mom and Dad get to hold all three.  It's a moment they'll never forget.

The boys have overcome many hurdles in the weeks since their birth.

Some more minor, like Adam's struggle with kidney stones and Logan and Timothy's with jaundice.  But many they face are major issues of development for babies born so early.

"It seems, I think, when one boy has a bad day the other two pull for each other," said Tamara Suchy.

The boys' lungs are maturing.  They came off their ventilators a few days ago.  Supplemental oxygen supports them until they're ready for the outside world.  It's a world where breathing, sucking and swallowing will be a rhythm, not a challenge.  Until that happens the boys get most of their nutrition through feeding tubes.  This week, they weigh in over 3 and a half pounds.

The procession of care the Suchy triplets and other babies recieve is carefully choreographed.

"In order to be a Children's Hospital, you basically need to demonstrate and have knowledge of the inpatient facilities to care for children and adolescents.  You need to be able to show that you have all the necessary physican services and ancillary services to provide comprehensive care for the child in place," said Dr. Todd Stewart.

The babies cared for in the NICU are sometimes born here, like the Suchy's, but not always.

The neonatal transport team brings in between 120 and 150 babies by ground or by air each year, and they cover incredible distance.

St. Joseph's Children's Hospital is the northern most Children's Hospital in the state.  The Spirit team travels a vast territory of 21 northern counties.

Betty Minton is one of ten nurses trained for transport.

She said, "If I'm on call my shift, sometimes I can go twice in that shift.  Sometimes I can go days without having a call.  It varies, but I love it and I've been doing that part 18 years of my 22 years here.  I love the challenge.  I love the knowledge base, the skills, everything that it takes."

What it takes is an easiness and professionalism that helps families having their babies flown out feel comfortable.  The team moves quickly during this transport at St. Clare's Hospital in Weston.  They carefully explain the process to parents.

"Generally, the families are very upset and stressed about what this means--that their baby is that critical that it has to be sent away," said Registered Nurse Judy Mauritz.  "You're usually leaving them.  They're crying and especially when Dad's cry, that's really hard."

Careful not to get tangled in emotions they focus on the job.

"Assess the baby to see what we need to do whether it's incubating, putting the baby on ventilators, starting IV's, getting medications," said Betty Minton.

Air trips take about half the time as ground, but no matter the time, the transport must be safe.  As part of their extensive training, transport staff will not leave the hospital unless the baby is stable.

Babies arrive at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital and are immediately assessed and moved in.   It's not uncommon for several doctors to weigh in on their treatment.

Online Reporter: Pam Warnke

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