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Baby Jacob

Where big things happen from small beginnings

When first-time mom Sarah Fischer went into labor three weeks early, she and her husband, Jacob, came to the OB Emergency Care Center at Sacred Heart Hospital Pensacola. Tests led the staff to conclude that Sarah was experiencing a placental abruption, which is a rare and serious complication of pregnancy, causing heavy bleeding in the mother and depriving the baby of oxygen and nutrients. Left untreated, a placental abruption can put both mother and baby’s life in jeopardy. Sarah’s OB/GYN, Dr. William Lile of Sacred Heart Medical Group, performed an emergency C-section. Baby Jacob was born!

After delivery, mother and son were doing well until Baby Jacob’s oxygen levels began dropping. He was admitted to the Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of The Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart, the only facility of its kind in the region. Over the coming hours, Baby Jacob stopped breathing four times, once for as long as 20 seconds. The ever-attentive NICU nurses were able to revive Baby Jacob, and – after eight days in the NICU – his levels normalized, the episodes stopped and Baby Jacob was discharged home.

 “Because of Sacred Heart’s strong focus on women and children, the team was able to recognize Sarah’s condition and our son’s breathing troubles and treat these issues before they got worse,” said Jacob Fischer, Baby Jacob’s father. “Had it not been for The Children’s Hospital, I could very easily be without a wife and a child.”

 His troubles weren’t over yet. At three-months-old, Baby Jacob began forcefully throwing up, sometimes as often as 10 times a day. When he began losing weight and his parents feared he’d become dehydrated, he was admitted to the Infant-Toddler Unit of The Children’s Hospital. Baby Jacob was put on IV fluids, and an ultrasound revealed that he had pyloric stenosis, a rare condition in which the muscles of the stomach become abnormally large and block food from entering the small intestine. With blood work showing unsafe levels, care team members feared Baby Jacob’s heart would stop.

Pediatric surgeon Dr. Robert Attorri did emergency surgery, and after a five-day hospital stay, Baby Jacob was able to return home. Now, several months later, Baby Jacob’s weight has more than doubled, and he is catching up to the pediatric growth curve!

His father, Jacob – who works for Sacred Heart – often walks the halls and sees the staff who saved his son’s life!

“The team members who work in The Children’s Hospital are unsung heroes,” he said. “Being the region’s only children’s hospital means that we care for the most vulnerable families during the most dire times. We can do what others can’t.” 

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