Ivy’s Story: Neonatal Intensive Care at Rush

For her first five months, Ivy lived in the neonatal intensive care unit at Rush University Medical Center until she could undergo surgery for a congenital heart defect.

“Rush has changed our life,” father Tony Cavalea says, “because we have a baby who wouldn’t have made it otherwise.”

Nurses Brave Snowstorm to Transport Injured Infant

Megan Jones, APN (left), and Erin Hederman, RN, with a patient in the Rush Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

By Kevin McKeough

Only one vehicle was driving along Interstate 290 as the blizzard was coming to an end on Wednesday morning, Feb. 2. It was an ambulance bringing two nurses from Rush University Medical Center to Sherman Hospital in Elgin to transport a newborn infant with a head injury to Rush for observation.

The one-day-old boy had been injured in a fall, and he needed to be brought to a hospital with pediatric neurosurgery capabilities in case it became necessary to operate to relieve the swelling in his head. Rush is the referral center for Sherman Hospital for such cases.

Rush had received the request for the infant to be transported the night of Feb. 1, but the blizzard made it impossible to send a team for the child then. Lorenzo Munoz, MD, director of the Rush Neurointensive Care Unit, managed the child’s care by phone throughout the night. Meanwhile, 14 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurses slept overnight in empty patient rooms to ensure that the NICU would be adequately staffed the next day. Continue reading