Trecha Henry had a perfect pregnancy and couldn’t wait for the birth of her first baby. At 40 weeks pregnant, she delivered her baby boy Keegan in a hospital near her home in the Cayman Islands. However during the delivery process, Keegan suffered from shoulder dystocia… his shoulder got stuck inside Trecha’s pelvis and he was without oxygen for five minutes. Doctors immediately did CPR and then began a hypothermia treatment which lowers the baby’s temperature to 91.4 degrees for 72 hours. This technique was used to help reduce Keegan’s risk of permanent brain damage. The seriousness of his condition scared Trecha and, because of COVID-19, she was unable to visit him. Then, three days after he was born, the decision was made to fly him to Miami because the hospital in the Caymans did not have the equipment or service Keegan needed. Trecha tested negative for COVID-19 and planned to travel with her son on the medical transport. However, there was no room on the transport and because of the crisis, the next available flight was over a week later. Trecha said “I couldn’t eat or sleep, all I could do was cry and pray.”
Keegan was flown to the NICU at Holtz Children’s Hospital at UM/Jackson Memorial Medical Center. Trecha joined him 9 long days later. The moment she saw him she burst into tears. She said they were tears of joy and worry. She learned that doctors discovered Keegan was having seizures. She prayed he would be ok and felt blessed to be in Miami with him. Three days later, she was able to hold her baby boy for the first time since he was born.
Trecha was fortunate to have a cousin in Fort Lauderdale since the Ronald McDonald House was closed to new families because of COVID-19. Trecha said the most challenging thing about having a baby in the NICU during the pandemic was the shortened visiting hours. Everyday she drove 45 minutes each way, to be there from 9:00am to 12:00pm, but then would have to sit on a bench outside for 3 hours until she was allowed back in the NICU from 3:00pm to 6:00pm. This was tough for many reasons, but particularly because she was still recovering physically from a difficult delivery. Finally, Trecha’s prayers were answered and Keegan was discharged just over a month after arriving in Miami. Looking back she said “I’m grateful and happy we got the help here we needed. I’m sad I didn’t have the normal birth experience, but the greatest thing is that he’s healthy. God doesn’t give you more than you can bear.” Trecha returned to the Cayman Islands and was reunited with her baby.