PIKEVILLE - Joshua and Erie Coleman of Pikeville recently experienced a miracle when their four-week-old daughter â€“ the first baby born in 2013 at Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) â€“ surpassed all odds.
On January 1 at 7:15 a.m., Dr. Erin Mullins, PMC OB-GYN, delivered Racheal Coleman. She weighed 7 lbs., 14 oz. and was 20 Â½ inches long.
The following day, Joshua and Erie were informed Racheal had a possible respiratory infection, and she was placed in PMC’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. While there, PMC Neonatologist Dr. Todd Hambleton ordered an emergency computed tomography (CT) scan and noticed a bleed on her brain that was making it difficult for her to breathe.
The newborn was immediately flown to the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital where specialists performed emergency brain surgery to remove the blood.
â€œThe day after surgery, the bleeding was just as bad as the day before,â€ Joshua said.
The parents were informed the bleeding would not stop.
A few days later, electroencephalogram (EEG) results showed that Racheal was experiencing 20-25 seizures per hour. Caregivers informed Joshua and Erie that she was having so many seizures it was causing her brain to scar and die.
â€œWe were told even if she made it through this, there would probably be no hope for her...she would be a living vegetable,â€ Joshua said.
Finally, after several days, hospital staff noticed Racheal was starting to improve. They weaned her off her support systems and kept her on one of her seizure medications.
â€œThe next day when she woke up, she was alert and looking/moving around,â€ Joshua said. â€œWe were told she was a thousand times better than they ever expected.â€
Racheal is now at home with her parents.
â€œWe are great and very relieved,â€ Erie said. â€œThis is amazing; it feels so good to have her home.â€
â€œWithout the support of our family and friends, I don’t know how we would have made it,â€ said Joshua. â€œI want to give special thanks to everyone at my work place, McCoy Elkhorn, for everything they have done.â€
Erie applauded the care they received at PMC.
â€œThe staff was wonderful and all of our nurses were amazing,â€ she said. â€œThey made sure to always keep us informed about everything. When she was placed in the NICU, Dr. Hambleton always let us know what was happening, and his decision to perform an emergency CT scan was excellent. I think if he would not have ordered the scan and found the bleeding, she may not have made it.â€
Erie continued, â€œAnd...she is here. We have been so blessed. Without God, she would not be here today.â€
Racheal now weighs 8lbs, 12.5 oz., and gains around 4 oz. a day.
â€œThis is a very sweet and very blessed family,â€ said Dr. Hambleton. â€œRacheal’s turnaround has been such a blessing from God. We never want to see a sick baby, but when we do, the staff of Pikeville Medical Center’s NICU is happy to help by getting them the treatment they need.â€
Since the 1960s, East Kentucky Broadcasting (EKB) has worked with PMC and the University of Pikeville to recognize and honor PMC’s first baby of the new year.
Baby Racheal will receive gifts from EKB, a one-year scholarship to the University of Pikeville, as well as generous donations from other local sponsors including, Double Quick, Care More Pharmacy, Kids Stuff, Prince and Princess and Nova Pharmacy.
PMC and Dr. Mullins will waive charges not covered by the family’s insurance plan.
â€œAll of us at East Kentucky Broadcasting were praying for Racheal and her parents,â€ said Cindy May Johnson, President of EKB.
â€œWe were so thrilled when we got the call that she had improved enough to go home. To have the opportunity to present the family with all their gifts and prizes for having the First Baby of the Year was a little sweeter this year, knowing how desperately sick Racheal was. Our congratulations go out to the whole family, and we look forward to watching Racheal grow up.â€
Racheal is the grand-daughter of Jeffery and Janie Coleman of Pikeville and Jerry and Melinda Adkins of Pikeville.