Saving baby: Second opinion saves twin
MetroHealth’s quality and compassion is best revealed through patients. In recent months, a number of MetroHealth patients have been featured in a series of television, radio and print ads. Christie of Shaker Heights is one of those patients.
In the third month of her pregnancy, Christie found out there were problems with one of her twins. Another hospital told her only one of her children would survive and she was advised to travel to Cincinnati for a selective reduction procedure on Baby B. This news was so devastating that she and her husband, Tim Gascoigne, considered terminating the entire pregnancy.
“It felt to us like an all-or-nothing deal,” Christie recalls.
As they struggled with this decision, her father, a local cardiologist, suggested she see Brian Mercer, MD, at MetroHealth for a second opinion. Minutes later, a student in a yoga class she taught – an OB/GYN at Cleveland Clinic – and another friend contacted her and suggested Dr. Mercer as well.
“In a half-hour, three people said I should go to Metro,” she says. “I honestly hadn’t considered Metro until then.”
Her first visit with Dr. Mercer changed the whole pregnancy. He performed a four-hour ultrasound and did not see any evidence of twin-to-twin transfusion, or any problems other than an omphalocele, in which the abdominal wall isn’t closing correctly.
He suggested performing an amniocentesis for more information.
“He called the next day to say the test showed no chromosomal defects and advised continuing the pregnancy as if everything was normal,” Calvin says.
When it came time to have a Cesarean section, 16 staff members were on hand. Baby A, now known as Henry, was the picture of health at 6 pounds, 5 ounces. Baby B, now known as Sam, was 4 pounds, 11 ounces, and spent two weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where the nurses taught Christie all about caring for babies.
The omphalocele healed on its own and Sam is doing well after recent cardiac surgery. The family is busy counting their blessings.
“The entire team at MetroHealth was great. It is now our first choice for any care we need,” Christie says.
“I knew in my heart that my babies were healthy, and Dr. Mercer helped us make the informed decision to continue with the pregnancy,” she says. “I just wish we had been seeing him from the very beginning. It would have made such a difference”