Today is Brad Augsburger's birthday, and he is receiving the sweetest gift of his thirty-five years: watching his wife move out of the ICU and into a regular recovery room. That is expected to happen later today. Colleen has been waking up slowly, eating and drinking tiny bits at a time and being up for half-hour stretches. This is great news. We could so easily be coping with a different outcome.
Last night, I had the uncanny experience of learning the story of Katy Hayes, a Texas mother of three who is fighting the same rare Streptococcal A bacterial infection that Colleen is overcoming (this woman's baby was born just 5 days before Kaya). As Colleen was giving birth to Kaya, Katy was in surgery for the removal of several septic organs. She remains unconscious, is still on a ventilator, and is undergoing dialysis. Just yesterday, her husband Al had to make the heartbreaking decision to allow her doctors to amputate her hands and feet, because the bacteria was attacking the tissue in her extremeties. Without amputation, her team of doctors warned that the bacteria would spread fatally.
I cannot underscore enough the importance of routine postpartum visitation and care. I am very grateful for the close observation of Colleen's midwives, family members and postpartum care team. Her warning signs were noticed immediately, and she was admitted to Sarasota Memorial Hospital in time to avoid a very bad outcome. I am also extremely grateful to the team of physicians and nurses that has worked around the clock to literally save Colleen's life. This is an example of collaborative care between midwives and doctors, and for that, on so many levels, I am grateful.
Baby Kaya, his siblings, and his daddy have been sustained by the most incredible community here in Sarasota, one that I attribute greatly to the two birthing centers here, their midwives, and their family of families. Mothers have pumped their milk to ensure Kaya's healthy beginning on this earth. The Augsburgers and their care team have been fed every night from a different family, and their food train is booked through mid-March. They have received donations of fresh produce, baby items and food delivery from local businesses. Brad would like to extend deep gratitude to those that have donated money while he is unable to work. He does not expect to be able to work again until April, so donations are still being graciously accepted so this family of five can reunite, heal, and care for each other, worry-free.
This next phase of recovery will be a long one, but a joyous one. More info on a benefit coming soon!