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We first “met” Baby Rose at last year’s Radiothon when Dr. Angelo talked us through her dramatic story of transport and life support.
When Rose was born – just days before Christmas 2014 – she was healthy and as delicate as her name. Then, four weeks later, her breathing suddenly became laboured and she stopped feeding. Her worried parents brought her to their local hospital in Lethbridge. Doctors told them Rose was dehydrated and had a heart rate of 300 beats per minute – putting her life in danger. Knowing they needed pediatric expertise, the Lethbridge staff called the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Within minutes, our hospital’s Pediatric Critical Care Transport (PCCT) team – a registered nurse, respiratory therapist and physician from the intensive care unit (ICU) – packed their “portable ICU” gear into a plane and were enroute to Lethbridge. They quickly stabilized Rose. But she continued to get sicker.
They flew her back to Calgary where the full complement of the PICU were ready for her. When they landed, cardiologists detected a rare cardiac arrhythmia which often fatal in newborns. They knew the baby’s heart was not pumping blood properly to the rest of her little body and she needed extra-corporeal life support (ECLS) – a form of heart/lung bypass – to do that work for her. Soon another group of highly-trained experts filled the room to perform the complex procedure. And, just in time, thanks to our hospital and the community-supported PCCT and ECLS teams, Rose’s life was saved.
Now, Rose takes medication and her heart rate is monitored at home daily. Because they know this condition exists, even if her heart “acts up” again, they can get her into the local hospital quickly and help her before it ever gets as bad again. The hope is that Rose may outgrow this condition. Baby Rose is just like her name – rosy, plump and beautiful.