by Kaydee Tuff
You don’t really think about what it means to be thankful until faced with unexpected adversity. This became very real for Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida parent Megan Murphy with the impending birth of her third child.
Megan’s first two pregnancies had been very normal so she was alarmed when she began hemorrhaging at five weeks. She rushed to the hospital fearful of a miscarriage.
The doctors said there was a blood clot under the baby and she should take it easy. Megan followed those orders, but one day in her 29th week, she fell on the concrete while dropping her children off at school. Although shaken up, she did not experience any hemorrhaging and the baby seemed to be moving fine.
But that night, Megan’s stomach tightened with crippling pain. Friends carried her to the car to make the 45-minute trip to the emergency room, but the pain was so intense, they had to pull over and call 9-1-1. EMTs arrived and as they put Megan on the gurney, her water broke. By the time she reached the emergency room, she
was in pre-term labor.
Despite medications to halt labor, James was born six days later, weighing 3 lbs. 9 oz. From the moment he entered in the world, he faced a multitude of health issues including severe jaundice, under-developed lungs and a brain hemorrhage. He was at-risk for cerebral palsy and would need physical therapy. The months following his birth were a revolving door of medical visits and procedures.
As a single mom of three, struggling to care for a preemie with special needs, Megan’s stressful life changed when she walked into the Healthcare Network’s Children’s Care Central location. Unlike so many of the medical providers Megan had dealt with, the doctors seemed to really care beyond the office visit, making personal calls to check on the family when James required hospitalization.
Healthcare Network provides the family with comprehensive managed care that helps keep not only James, but his siblings out of the hospital and avoids traumatic emergency room visits.
Megan says this genuine concern gives her a sense of peace that all will be well. “My heart is filled with gratitude for many things,” she says, “most especially James’s progress and for these wonderful doctors who go above and beyond for their patients.”
As more physicians choose not to accept Medicaid or uninsured patients, Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida has a 37-year history of caring for those patients, offering an alternative to the more expensive and often inappropriate emergency room. If more people have access to care, we all benefit from a healthier community. For more information on how you can help, go to www.healthcareswfl.org or contact Stephen Wheeler, Vice President of Development, 239.658.3113 or SWheeler@healthcareswfl.org.