It may not have been at the top of Stephanie Phifer’s mind when she was admitted to the Margot Perot Center for Women and Infants in May 2009 that she and her unborn baby would be receiving care in a place like the Margot Perot Center.
|Madelyn Phifer spent 77 days in the NICU at Texas Health Dallas before going home with her mother, Stephanie.
However, what it offered would come to matter to Stephanie and her growing family. The facility is the only one in North Texas to provide a Special Care Nursery where premature babies can transition from a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) into a setting with private rooms.
Just 24 at the time of her pregnancy, Stephanie was having a rough first experience with being pregnant. She was sick during much of her pregnancy and had high blood pressure and abnormal markers for protein production, liver function and other organ activities. She was also told that her baby ran a high risk of having spina bifida. This would be a journey that would take Stephanie and her husband, Danny, 36, from Mt. Pleasant, Texas, to Dallas.
Due to the high-risk nature of Stephanie’s pregnancy, she was referred by her OB/GYN doctor in Mt. Pleasant to Dr. Brian Rinehart at North Texas Perinatal Associates in Dallas. As director of the Maternal High Risk Program at Texas Health Dallas, Rinehart knew that Stephanie’s special needs for around-the-clock care would be met by the medical team of physicians on the medical staff, nurses and employees at the Margot Perot Center.
With access to centralized monitoring, an on-call obstetric hospitalist on staff and advanced technologies, the center and its team were well equipped to react quickly in an emergency. So when Stephanie’s liver and kidneys started failing and she was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia, she underwent an emergency C-section.
Born at 29 weeks and two days, Madelyn Marie Phifer weighed in at just 2 pounds and 5 ounces — but she was a fighter. She underwent a blood transfusion in her first week of life, was on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), had a nasal cannula to help with breathing, was placed under a bilirubin light to treat her jaundice and had a feeding tube inserted in her stomach. Madelyn received the quality care she needed in a NICU equipped to treat her. And the care didn’t end there.
When Madelyn’s condition improved, she was moved to the center’s Special Care Nursery, where she continued to be monitored and received occupational therapy to learn how to take a bottle. After 77 days of intensive compassionate care, Madelyn was able to go home with her parents. Today she still experiences some developmental delays and sees a variety of specialists but is described by her mother as a happy and energetic gift from God.
“We believe that we were in the right place at the right time when we came to the Margot Perot Center,” Stephanie said. “Everyone at the hospital was helpful and encouraging, and we met so many loving doctors and nurses in the NICU/Special Care Nursery that we are very thankful for.”