“I felt like I was saying goodbye to my heart”
These were the words Tonya Ellis used to describe her feelings when our medical team arrived at the birth hospital just after delivery to transport her newborn baby daughter to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Born 16 weeks too soon and weighing just 1 pound, five ounces, baby Jordan needed immediate surgery.
Tonya, spoke yesterday at the dedication of our new medical helicopter, Monarch I. The helicopter, to be used exclusively for neonatal and pediatric patients, is the latest addition to Nationwide Children’s Medical Transport Team. Tonya’s words brought home the important role of this life-saving service. But even when every second counts, Tonya went on to emphasize and compliment the team on their understanding and sensitivity at such scary times. I was touched when she described how the team made the effort to bring baby Jordan to her bedside before they left. It was the first time Tonya had seen her baby daughter who was whisked out of the delivery room immediately after delivery.
The good news is that Jordan arrived safely and is doing extremely well. Born on December 20th, she has nearly doubled her weight and is eating and growing. Tonya has been at her baby’s bedside for the last several weeks and joined the event from the NICU. A highlight was seeing a picture of baby Jordan.
Monarch I will begin flying next week and transporting critically ill and injured children. Yesterday was definitely the last day we’ll be happy to see Monarch I arriving at the hospital. Reverend Susan Kyser, our director for pastoral care, summed it up well in her blessing for the new helicopter, “We don’t know all these patients by names but we know them by heart.”
Fly Safely Monarch I.