Alissa and Andrew Lanning returned to Tyler Memorial Hospital yesterday, where nearly two months ago, an emergency caesarean section saved their daughter’s life.
“I couldn’t believe it happened the way it did, but thank you so much for saving her life,” Alissa said to a team of medical professionals gathered at the hospital.
On Oct. 7 around 6:15 a.m., Alissa began having contractions.
“I had no high blood pressure, no morning sickness,” she said. “To me, it was the perfect pregnancy, so I wasn’t concerned at all.”
But noticing bloody discharge, she called Geisinger in Tunkhannock, where she had been seen throughout her pregnancy.
The couple went to the clinic and her water broke. Then they were surprised to find out from Dr. Christopher Lewis that the baby was breech.
“We had checked earlier in the pregnancy and she was in the proper position,” she said. “But she had rolled in that time period into a breech position.”
An ambulance was called immediately, and Dr. Lewis said he would ride in the ambulance as an operating room was prepped in Wilkes-Barre. At this point, the contractions were becoming inconsistent.
“As we’re heading down Mile Hill, I felt something,” she said.
The umbilical cord had prolapsed.
With Tyler Hospital being the closest facility with an operating room, they decided not to waste time driving to a bigger city, even though Tyler had stopped delivering babies in 2008.
As they burst into the doors of Tyler, Dr. Lewis quickly told the staff about the situation and what needed to happen.
“The next thing I remember is waking up and him saying ‘Alissa, she’s OK,’” she said.
Baby Elisabeth had entered the world within 20 seconds from the incision, she said.
“It was very quick, but there was still about 5-10 minutes there where Elisabeth wasn’t breathing,” Andrew said.
The pediatrician on staff at Tyler was not in, so Dr. Daniel Williams shut down his nearby office to help out in addition to Dr. Lewis.
Later, Alissa was brought to Wilkes-Barre for medical care, while Elisabeth went to Danville.
While the baby remains on some medications, she has been progressing normally and showing off her “spunky” personality.
“She’s working on her social smile. She’s always moving, always going,” Andrew said.
Both parents thanked everyone involved that day who had a hand in “saving their little family.”
“They did amazing for what they have, that is for sure,” Andrew said. “God put a good 30 people in the right place at the right time.”
Tyler CEO Ann Marie Stevens commended the hospital staff members involved for taking initiative and putting their emergency training to use. Despite no longer delivering babies, Tyler staff members still receive training in areas such as neonatal and pediatric life support.
“The main concern was to make sure mom and baby were safe and that they were very well taken care of,” Stevens said. “We try to get the message out to the community all the time that we’re here for all emergencies, but it’s very rare that we see a baby born, especially under these circumstances.”
Stevens was also pleased to see the Lannings bring Elisabeth back to visit.
“She’s part of our family forever,” she said.