Letter to the Editor

Grateful for modern medicine

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Healthcare is often a hot political football. Both sides fight over what governmentís role should be in health choices and the financing of healthcare. I obviously have my opinion (like with most things I donít see more government as the answer to the problem but the problem itself), but in this article I just hope to express my gratitude to live in a country with the best healthcare in the world.

On December 31st at 7:19pm my wife and I were blessed with a new baby girl, little Ms. Polly Ann Ballinger. This was our eighth baby overall, so we thought we knew what we were getting into. Labor was progressing slow and steady and Momma and Baby were both doing real well. Sometime shortly after 7 Pollyís heart rate dropped drastically and we couldnít get it up. Dr. Lisa Bearden and the staff at Northwest Medical Center worked quickly to get Jessica back to the O.R. for an emergency Caesarean. In the process they discovered that Jessicaís uterus had completely ruptured and that she had lost a lot of blood.

A complete uterine rupture is a serious complication for both the mother and the baby where the lining of the uterus ruptures and the baby moves through the opening into the motherís abdomen. This obviously requires immediate surgical intervention without which the life of the mother and baby would likely be lost. Fortunately, complete uterine ruptures are extremely rare but often, even with modern medicine, they are fatal.

Dr. Lisa Bearden and the hospital staff were professionals who were full of compassion. Without their close observation, through the instruments of modern medical technology, we may not have even been aware of the drop in Pollyís heart rate and the need for intervention. Without a skilled doctor and nursing staff they may not have recognized the emergency and moved quickly, or may not even be able to carry out the procedures in a way that would preserve the life and health of my baby and my wife. When faced with a rare and catastrophic emergency, Dr. Bearden and the staff stayed cool and acted with as much precision as possible in the situation. I am glad that God put us in a time and place where this type of care is available and an individual like Dr. Bearden could be there for my family. There is no doubt that the hand of God was involved in so many aspects of what lead up to the events that occurred a little after 7 p.m. on December 31st, but it was the hands of Dr. Bearden and the staff that God used to save the lives of Jessica and Polly Ann that night.

As things get more and more crazy in this world, and we reminisce about how things used to be, I want to be sure that I recognize that we still have a lot to be grateful for. Today, I am grateful for a new healthy baby and wife. I am also grateful for the wonders of modern medicine and the hands of trained professionals who serve us in healthcare.

ó Bob Ballinger