Lizzie Stoltz was pregnant and 10 weeks shy of her due date. But that didn't matter to baby Madelyn. She was ready to make her entrance. Her parents, Lizzie and Shaun, couldn't have been more surprised. "He said right away, 'You're kidding.' I said, 'No, I'm positive my water just broke," Lizzie says of informing her husband about the imminent arrival of their second child.
The couple had planned on welcoming Madelyn into the world at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, approximately 30 miles from their home in Bloomer, Wisconsin. Given the increasing intensity and frequency of contractions, however, Lizzie and Shaun were forced to switch plans, stay close to home and make a beeline for Mayo Clinic Health System in Bloomer. Physician assistant Jon Farm and a team of others were awaiting their arrival. "That's the first thing that crosses my mind, to summon the appropriate resources and team to be able to take care of the patients that are coming in," Farm says.
With no in-house labor and delivery service or neonatal intensive care unit in Bloomer, Farm knew that he and his colleague Phillip Skaar, M.D., a physician in Family Medicine, would need some assistance. "I called the transfer line in Rochester and told them, 'I'm going to need some telemedicine help, as well,'" Farm says.
First used by Mayo Clinic Children's Center in 2013, Mayo's telemedicine program allows Mayo Clinic neonatologists to consult with Mayo Clinic Health System care teams in real time with the help of a two-way video screen.
"It was literally like having a specialist looking over your shoulder."Phillip Skaar, M.D.
"We have controls in order to zoom in other parts of the room, improve our audio, talk to providers with a handset if needed. Short of us standing right there with the team, it's the next best thing," says Christopher Collura, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neonatologist who participates in the telemedicine program.
For Farm, Dr. Skaar and the Stoltz family, having Dr. Collura on a telemedicine video screen in Bloomer to help guide Madelyn's early arrival was just the support that was needed. "It was literally like having a specialist looking over your shoulder," Dr. Skaar says of Dr. Collura's involvement in the delivery process from approximately 100 miles away in Rochester.
Unfortunately, Dr. Collura's involvement would not end with Madelyn's arrival. "She was very limp and blue, and not breathing," Farm says. So with Dr. Collura still providing guidance via the telemedicine screen, Farm and members of a Mayo Clinic flight crew worked to intubate Madelyn, who weighed just 3 pounds, while a second Mayo Clinic neonatal flight crew flew from Rochester to Bloomer to transport Madelyn to Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
Madelyn received specialized care in Rochester for 44 days before being discharged home. Since then, she's been making her own unique mark within the Stoltz family. "It's broken sleep with lots of smiles. That's what it is," Shaun says of having a thriving Madelyn at home. "She's going to be demanding. She'll be a fighter, that's for sure."
Learn more about Madelyn's story in this video:
Tags: Dr. Christopher Collura, Dr. Phillip Skaar, Jon Farm, Mayo Clinic Children's Center, Mayo Clinic Health System, Mayo Clinic Health System in Bloomer, Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Neonatology, Pediatrics