UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital 2019 Kid Captain: Skylar Hardee

– They said that most likely
there’s chance of survival was zero, so Iowa City was the only place that would actually help us. They’d give us a chance. (soft piano music) – My husband and I were trying for 10 years to get pregnant. After like three
miscarriages we finally said, “We’re just gonna take a break.” And after a couple years,
we decided to try again, and the next month I was pregnant. At the fourth month they
checked my blood work, and they said, “Your
levels are going down.” So they set up an ultrasound. After a couple tries she’s like, “Okay can you get dressed, the
doctor wants to talk to you.” He said, “We can’t see a bladder, “we can only see one kidney, “we see multiple defects in his heart, “so you need to go see a specialist.” I went looking for a specialist,
went down to Des Moines. They said, same thing. And they said, “The best option for you “is to probably terminate,
because probably has “like 1% survival, if that.” So we’re like okay, we’re
gonna go see another doctor. Then I went to Iowa Falls,
I went to Marshalltown, and then Marshalltown
they sent me to Waterloo. So after that they did a bunch of tests, and he said, “I’m gonna
send you to Iowa City. “They’ll take good care of you.” I seen the the doctor, and I’m like, “Well has a heartbeat, doing fine, “we’re gonna give it a chance.” She said, “Okay, we’re here for you. “We’re gonna take good care of you.” Every time I came back,
like every two weeks, we had an ultrasound. They would just say,
“Okay, baby’s doing okay. “The heartbeat’s normal.” The OB-GYN team specialists met, and that was great because
every time I came in they always had a new idea. You know, “This is what we can do, “this is what we can try.” 32 weeks, exactly on the date, I knew something was wrong. I came here, they said,
“You’re in active labor. “We’re gonna get all the team together. “We’re gonna do everything we can “to help you and your baby.” He came out, they rolled him out, and I didn’t get to see him
till probably later that night. – [Justin] He started at three pounds. I remember being able to hold him in the palm of my hand. – The doctors diagnosed
him with VACTERL syndrome, which is VACTERL association now. He had surgery in the NICU room three days after he was born. He spent 97 days in the
children’s hospital. He went home with a colostomy bag, a vesicostomy, a heart monitor, a feeding tube, a blood pressure machine. It was scary, but I said, “I can do this, “I can do this by myself.” – We were very scared coming home. We wanted to go home,
but we were also nervous. They basically gave us the support, and the knowledge to care for him, and make sure that we got the feeding tube cleaned the right way so
it didn’t get infection. And how to clean the colostomy bags, and change ’em out,
and basically set us up to succeed instead of fail. – Three, four, five, six,
seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. – [Justin] Today Skylar’s had 21 or 22 surgeries and procedures, and all in all, if you look at him he looks like a normal, healthy kid. – If the doctors and the staff were here, that took Skylar, I would
tell just them thank you. Because he’s actually our miracle baby. – The children’s hospital
means the world to me. My son’s my world. They gave me my dreams and my hopes. Since I was 18 I’ve been
trying to have a son, and they made all my dreams come true. (soft music)

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