Anita Mehta Shares Her Bronson Journey
In 2006, Anita Mehta was 19-weeks pregnant with twins and heading to a normal ultrasound checkup. Anita had scheduled this ultrasound expecting to return to work after the appointment. During the ultrasound, it was discovered that Anita was in preterm labor. She was immediately admitted to the Antepartum Unit, beginning her family's healthcare journey at Bronson.
After almost 6 weeks of bedrest, Anita went into labor and had an emergency C-Section. At 23-weeks, Anita and her husband Jim McNamara welcomed Sean and Isabel into the world. The babies weighing in at 1lb., 5oz. and 1lb., 3oz. respectively, were moved to Bronson's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Below is their journey in Anita’s words:
You have to pull it together quickly, because you have to become an advocate for your child and make medical decisions. We learned early on that our son was going to have a tougher road than our daughter. He had a severe brain bleed and a blood infection. The first weeks were a day-by-day experience and it became apparent that he was not going to survive. At 2 weeks, said goodbye to our son, Sean.
The NICU staff guided us through the worst hours of our life. They made sure that we had the best possible journey. It's hard to put into words the compassion and care we received. The nurses went above and beyond with our care. They took care of our children when we couldn't. They celebrated our wins with us and cried with us during the hard battles. It is because of their compassion and care that we are here today.
Isabel holds her NICU photo
After the passing of our son, we had to quickly turn our attention back to our daughter, Isabel who had an uncertain future. We were in the NICU for 4-months and at some point the lever shifted. It wasn't about whether she was going to survive, we knew she was going to survive, it was about what her outcome would be. When she was 2lbs, she had surgery to close a valve near her heart. The valve would normally close at 36-weeks in utero. Dr. Leinwand and Dr. Downing performed surgery in the NICU to ensure there was no added stress and Isabel came through it wonderfully. We brought her home after 109 days in the NICU and weighing 5lbs. - she came home 5-days before her original due date. Our journey was not easy but fast forward to today, we have a happy and healthy 14-year-old. We wouldn't be in this situation if it wasn't for the care we received at Bronson early on.
We visit the NICU every year on Isabel’s birthday and at Christmas to remind the staff how critical their jobs are and what they do is so important.
Anita and Jim have since started the Sean and Isabel McNamara Donor Advised Fund at Bronson to show their gratitude, give back to other patients and families but also to leave a legacy for both children that will live on.