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A present we will never forget

Legacy Emanuel Medical Center | Pregnancy and Childbirth

Thrilled to be pregnant with my seventh child, I was shocked to be threatening miscarriage at 16 weeks while on a cross country road trip with my family. I made it home to Oregon, on bed rest for eight weeks. My son, Adam, was born at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center on Aug. 22, 1994.

Born 16 weeks early, he weighed 1.5 pounds; his whole hand was about the size of my thumbnail. "I held on to you as long as I could," I whispered to him. My husband wept.

Months of care at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit ensued (the NICU is in the adjoining Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel). The staff cared for Adam and our family, realizing the tremendous toll that prematurity can take on a family.

Adam was discharged Dec. 24, 1994, a Christmas present we will never forget. In 2012, he turned 18 years old. And his mother still gets teary-eyed whenever she drives by Legacy Emanuel, remembering the work that birthed and saved a life.

— Patty Kartchner

After this experience, Patty became a certified nurse midwife, delivering babies at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center.