Southern Indiana Living

JUL-AUG 2017

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

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July/August 2017 • 45 I t was the Fourth of July, and Coryd- on resident Lexie McCullum was 25 weeks pregnant when her car hydro- planed, she lost control and crashed into the guardrail on a bridge in New Al- bany. She was quickly transported by am- bulance to Baptist Health Floyd's Emer- gency Department. After treating her injured shoul- der, McCullum was taken to the Labor and Delivery Unit to make sure her baby was OK. She had an ultrasound and was placed on a fetal monitor for safety. Within an hour, McCullum sudden- ly experienced an extremely sharp pain in her stomach on the left side where she had felt the impact of the accident. Dr. Braidi Huecker, the OB/GYN on call, raced to her room and performed another ultrasound at the site of the pain. "The clinical signs all pointed to one conclusion — Lexie had a condition called placental abruption. It can be life-threatening for mother and baby because it can cause severe bleed- ing in the mother and gravely deprive the baby of oxygen and nutrients which can lead to death or growth restriction," Huecker said. McCullum had wanted to go to Norton Hospital for her delivery be- cause it was closer to Norton Children's Hospital, but Huecker felt they would not survive the trip, so McCullum trusted her to perform an emergency C-section. The Neonatal Intensive Care transport team at Norton Children's Hospital was alerted and on their way. Minutes later, CharloĴe Grace was born at 1 pound, 13 ounces. The hospital emergency team was on standby when she arrived. It takes a special team to intu- bate a baby at this age, and they kept her alive until the transport arrived. "Babies born at 25 weeks have a low chance of intact survival," Huecker said. "I had a placental abruption when I had my twins, and I knew what Lexie was going to have to face when she reached the NICU. So I pulled out my phone and showed her pictures of my babies in the unit and tried to help prepare her for what to expect." McCullum wasn't able to hold her liĴle girl until she was 8 weeks old. Char- loĴe stayed at Norton Children's Hospi- tal for 11 weeks, and was able to go home weighing 5 pounds, 1 ounce. She is cur- People of Southern Indiana A Living Miracle Independence Day comes early for Corydon Preemie Story by Angie Glotzbach Photos (except where noted) by Bruce Morris Above: Lexie McCullum and her daughter, Charlotte Grace

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