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  • Writer's pictureShana Watkins

I can't talk about it without crying.😭

The milestone that you hope as a parent you never have to document: Baby's First Ambulance Ride.

I knew it was serious when I called the pediatrician's office, and as soon as I told the nurse that my 2-week-old baby didn't wake up to eat overnight, she said “get in the car right now and head to the nearest hospital.”

I went to what was once St. Joseph's Hospital, and they had no idea what to do with us. He was too tiny for the hospital gown, and after going through two different techs, the one who finally was able to draw blood from his teeny, tiny foot – spilled it on the floor. I wanted to scream, and now he was throwing up. They said it was just spit up after I watched it projectile across the room. I knew after that we couldn't waste one more minute.

In what would be my very first Momma Bear move, I said “ I need an ambulance, and we're going to Cardinal Glennon.”

Never in a million years did I think I would be in an ambulance with my newborn. Nothing prepares you for that.

It was at Glennon that they diagnosed him with RSV. I walked into his room and didn't leave for three days. I listened to the monitors beep, watched nurses adjust his oxygen levels. What I didn't do? Eat, sleep, shower…

It was the scariest three days of my life, and I'm so grateful to have had the support of the caring nurses and doctors at the hospital.

I feel lucky he was healthy enough that we were able to leave after three days. Children born with complex medical needs can spend weeks, months, even years at the hospital as their parents struggle to be with them while also balancing other responsibilities, including children at home.

I seriously CANNOT imagine how scary and stressful it would be to be torn between keeping your job and caring for your sick child.

What I've since learned as a Glennon Card retailer and supporter is that the hospital treats 200,000 kids every year and no child is ever turned away because of their family's ability to pay.

From purchasing new equipment to providing support for parents who lose their jobs caring for their child or who can't afford to visit without gas money, the hospital and foundation fundraise tirelessly. The Glennon Card is an easy and economical way to support these efforts.

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