Children’s Miracle Network Miracle Moment: John, Patrick, and Eleanor O’Brien

The Children’s Miracle Network got its start in 1983 with the mission to help cover the cost of medical care for children. Since then, they have raised over seven billion dollars, most donations raised only one dollar at a time. Children’s hospitals like Monument Health rely on the kind donations of their communities to improve the lives of as many children as possible.

If you would like to donate to children right here in the Black Hills visit NC1.TV/CMN today.

In July 2013, Sarah O’Brien and her husband were told they were pregnant and expecting not just one baby but triplets. At the time, they lived in Wyoming and their doctor there told them to find a doctor in Colorado as Wyoming did not have a neonatal intensive care unit big enough to handle the high-risk pregnancy. However, O’Brien’s family lived in Hill City and so they decided to find a doctor in the Rapid City area to help with the high-risk pregnancy. They found Dr. Degen and she was willing to take on O’Brien as a patient. They traveled from their home in Wyoming, which was three and a half hours away, every other week to see Dr. Degan and the Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist that would fly in from Sioux Falls.

They did this until November of 2013. When they came back to Hill City for Thanksgiving, they were told that O’Brien would be placed on bed rest in the hospital until further notice. She was on hospital bed rest until December 24th, 2013. After her discharge, she had to be in Hill City and rest there until the babies were born. On January 2nd, 2014, her husband took her to the hospital’s emergency room, and it was there that they determined she was in labor. The baby’s due date was not until March of 2014, this made their gestation 30 weeks and five days. The babies were going to be 8 to 9 weeks early. At 2:49 PM, 2:49 PM, and 2:50 PM the babies made their way into the world via an emergency C-section. Due to their being so many weeks early, the babies were rushed into the neonatal intensive care unit immediately.

Their birth weights were 3 pounds 5 ounces, 2 pounds 14 ounces, and 2 pounds 11 ounces. They knew it was going to be a long road ahead. During their stay in the NICU, the boys were on C pap machines and oxygen machines, their sister was on a ventilator, C pap machine, and oxygen as well. All the babies were given aminofilin to assist with their lung development and breathing issues. Two of the three were given Surfactant to assist with their lungs. During their stay they were diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis, this is a bacterium that forms in the wall of their intestines and can be very deadly. The doctors told O’Brien and her husband to be ready because if it did not get better with antibiotics they would be traveling on a plane to Sioux Falls for pediatric surgery. After 8 weeks in the hospital, the babies were strong enough to make their way home. Two of the three were sent home on oxygen support as well as heart rate monitors.

During their hospital stays, O’Brien and her husband stayed in Rapid City for a couple of weeks, Children’s Miracle Network helped with food and travel expenses, as well as they had just previously purchased a new camera for the neonatal intensive care unit. This helped provide the nurses with the opportunity to document the baby’s reaching milestones when the parents could not be there. Children’s Miracle Network also assisted the NICU with purchasing the vital equipment to help keep the babies alive. Their generous donations have helped many families and babies in the past and will continue to help them in the future.

The triplets are now six years old and just finished their kindergarten year in school. O’Brien’s family will continue to support the cause and mission of the Children’s Miracle Network. Without the funds and support of the Children’s Miracle Network to the Rapid City NICU, they would not have had all the funds or equipment available to help during the children’s eight-week hospital stay.

“Our deepest appreciation for the Children’s Miracle Network Foundation and all they stand for and for the support they give families during these difficult and trying times is absolutely amazing. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and we are forever grateful,” says O’Brien.

If you would like to donate to children right here in the Black Hills visit NC1.TV/CMN today.

Categories: Children’s Miracle Network