Lindsey and Nick Saunders, like many of their Farmington neighbors, are in the family formation stage of life. They’re discriminating consumers of household appliances and healthcare. They have lots to think about in the healthcare arena. Their oldest child, Abigail Rose, is 3. Their twins, born last September, Oliver Thomas and Paige Elizabeth, are closing in on nine months. And then there are Mom and Dad. They have healthcare needs, too.
Five years ago, Lindsey selected the Lonsdale Clinic as her medical home because of the convenience. They lived in Lonsdale at the time. The primary care clinic was just five minutes from home. When they moved to Farmington last year, Lindsey could see her OB/GYN, Christine Braun, MD, at the Farmington Clinic and found it easy to bring the children to the Northfield Clinic to see pediatrician Ben Flannery, MD.
When she speaks of her experience Northfield Hospitla & Clinics, Lindsey, an accountant, talks about the welcoming environment and the thorough care they receive. “I always find the doctors to be knowledgeable and thorough,” she said, reflecting on her experience. “They answer all of my questions and provide me with additional information when I need it.” Lindsey delivered all three of her babies at the Birth Center at Northfield Hospital. She had such a great experience with Abigail she knew she would be back.
She found the Birth Center a calm welcoming environment where the nurses make patients feel respected, safe, and nurtured. And it doesn’t have an institutional feel. “Visitors often comment that it doesn’t feel like a hospital,” Lindsey said. The twins’ births were routine, if you can ever call having twins “routine.” On September 27 about 10 in the morning, Lindsey’s water broke at home. An hour later, she had packed, provided for Abigail and made the short drive to Northfield Hospital. After three hours of suspense, Oliver was born; 16 minutes later, sister Paige arrived In December, Lindsey and Nick were reminded of both an infant’s fragility and his resilience. Oliver, now barely three months old, had been battling a cough for about a week before Lindsey was scheduled to return to work.
Coming home from her first day back, Lindsey found his breathing labored. She and her husband whisked Oliver to the Emergency Department at Northfield Hospital. Doctors ruled out flu and pneumonia. They said Oliver was suffering from Respiratory Synctial Virus (RSV), a virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages. Older children and most adults handle RSV like a common cold, but it can develop into a serious lower respiratory infection in infants. The calm demeanor exhibited by doctors and staff impressed Lindsey and kept her “worry level” to a minimum. “I was never frightened,” she said. “I was confident in the physicians and their abilities.” Doctors admitted Oliver to the hospital. Kelly Meyers, DO, Pediatrician coordinated his care.
Lindsey and Nick were given the choice of having their son transferred to Children’s Hospital in the Twin Cities, but in the end they decided his condition could be managed at Northfield Hospital. This wasn’t how Lindsey planned to spend the days leading up to Christmas. She wanted to be close to her baby, so the hospital staff arranged for her to be with him overnight. He responded to therapies over the two days of hospitalization and was discharged, Christmas Eve. The best gift of the season for the Saunders was a baby home and on the mend.
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