Wally’s Story

 

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Miracles upon miracles

For most, 2020 will be remembered as the year the COVID-19 pandemic began. This is true for Johannah and Damon of Sheboygan; except, they also spent majority of 2020 anticipating the birth of their first child.

 

Johannah experienced a very uneventful, yet healthy pregnancy. The only drama being near the end when their baby boy decided to flip between breech and not breech. Johannah went to HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital on her due date, Dec. 7, 2020, to be induced since the baby was no longer breech at that time.

 

“The process of labor was going fine and then I started to spike a fever on Dec. 8, 2020,” recalls Johannah. “Signs of infection were starting to show and a c-section was necessary.”

 

Damon adds that the c-section was termed as urgent – but not emergent. However, after baby Walter – affectionately called Wally – was born, it was extremely clear how dire the situation would become.

 

“Upon Wally’s birth, he experienced a spontaneous double pneumothorax, putting his heart and lungs in immediate crisis,” said Damond. “The struggle to get him stable, both breathing and heart rate, put him in severe distress for the first 32 minutes of his life.”

 

Johannah recalls that throughout her infection and Wally’s birth, that the Lord performed many miracles. Her physician, Dr. Jessica Leszczynski, Prevea Women’s Care, made key decisions at the right time that saved Johannah and Wally’s life. A highly renowned pediatrician who is normally on-call at HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital, was by chance present for Wally’s birth. The woman and infant’s unit had just gone through additional training for infant crisis. And, perhaps when little Wally started to cry just prior to being transferred to the NICU at HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital in Green Bay, was the biggest miracle of them all.

 

“Having never been in a situation like this, I didn’t realize how impactful and important having a tremendous level of care could be,” said Damon. “But, the perspective of faith-based care is what stood out most to me. This is what ministered to us during a very scary time that had a remarkable outcome.”

 

This was the first chapter in their story as a family of three. And numerous colleagues, physicians, nurses, dietary aids and more all played a significant role in their first chapter.wally licking ice cream

 

“Amazingly, Wally spent just one week at HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital. The progress Wally experienced in such a short time was remarkable overcoming many barriers quickly,” said Johannah.

Today, Wally, now a toddler is doing great. Johannah and Damon went from not knowing if Wally would live to not knowing if he would have incredible brain damage. And, when it came time to begin the family’s second chapter by taking Wally home, they left HSHS St. Vincent Children’s Hospital with a very healthy little boy … a miracle.

 

For Damon, having never been in a situation like this, he didn’t realize how impactful and important having a tremendous level of care could be; but the perspective of faith-based care is what stood out most to him. This is what ministered to them during a very scary time that had a remarkable outcome.

 

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