There was nothing like Children’s Care Hospital & School where Trevor and Kelley Lehfeldt lived. No one ever expects to need Children’s Care Hospital and School. But we are here for families like the Lehfeldts once they discover they need specialized, pediatric therapies for their children.
When Kelley was six weeks pregnant she was told there were 4 embryos. Doctors said not all the embryos would probably develop, and those that had a 75% chance of gestating to 30 weeks, the earliest that doctors wanted to deliver the babies. Kelley continued with monthly appointments throughout the pregnancy.
At 24 ½ weeks, Kelley didn’t feel right and went to the hospital. Doctors told her she was having Braxton-Hicks contractions (false contractions that prepare the body for delivery). They didn’t examine her, but simply sent her home.
Born Too Early
Trying to deliver only one of the babies was too risky and all four babies were delivered. The delivery room was crowded with a doctor, nurse, and respiratory therapist for each baby and doctors for Kelley.
Lance weighed 1 lb.9 oz. Lilley weighed 1 lb. 6.5 oz. Keaton weighed 1 lb. 7.75 oz., and Jonah weighed 1 lb. 11 oz. Kelley and Trevor were told the babies had only a 20% chance of surviving and that Lance would most certainly die.
All four of the babies had life-threatening health problems. All of them needed help breathing as soon as they were born. They were all on ventilators with collapsed lungs. In the first year they had over 30 surgeries.
Lilley, Keaton and Lance went home when they were 3 ½ months old. Kelley and Trevor were overjoyed to bring their babies home, but they were also scared.
Jonah remained on a ventilator longer than the other three. He came home from the hospital shortly after his 1st birthday. The hospital wouldn’t discharge him without a nurse but neither their insurance plan nor Medicaid would pay for a nurse. They finally were able to get a 24-hour-a-day nurse for the first 60 hours Jonah was home.
Little Jonah was home for four months. The week before he was scheduled to have his ventilator trach removed, he turned his head in the night while sleeping and disconnected it. Kelley worked to revive him, an ambulance came, and he was put on life support. He had been without oxygen for too long. They disconnected the life support and Jonah passed away in Kelley’s arms. He was 15 months old.
The Move to Sioux Falls
The Lehfeldts were living out of state at the time and knew they needed to move to Sioux Falls to be closer to the medical care their children would need as they grew up. There was nothing like Children’s Care Hospital & School where they lived. Children’s Care has been there for Lance, Lilley and Keaton helping them discover new skills. “They began making great progress when Children’s Care started treating them. They began to thrive,” said Kelley. Children’s Care Hospital & School provides physical, occupational and speech therapy services for the children. Lilley also receives orthotic and seating and positioning services from Children’s Care Rehabilitation Medical Supply.
Lance is a miracle child, a mystery to physicians. He wasn’t expected to survive, walk or talk. He’s doing all three very well. Because of a hemorrhage when he was born and a hole in his heart he has slight cerebral palsy tendencies. He receives physical therapy at Children’s Care. He is getting stronger. He should grow up to be completely independent. He currently attends half-day kindergarten.
Keaton has some sight but is legally blind. He is learning Braille and attends half-day kindergarten. He should be able to live independently. He attends physical therapy with Lance because it makes it more fun and motivating for his brother.
Lilley has no sight, and uses a wheelchair. She has cerebral palsy. She is learning new skills like picking up small objects through occupational therapy sessions. She also works on getting stronger in the heated pool with physical therapy. Before coming to Children’s Care Trevor and Kelley were told Lilley would never walk or even sit up. With the help of a walker and dedicated therapists at Children’s Care, she is learning how to bear weight on her legs and will hopefully walk someday. Lilley is also learning Braille and attends half-day kindergarten with her brothers.
Help Children’s Care Hospital & School continue to discover and encourage every child’s abilities. Donate to Children’s Care Hospital and School today and make a difference in the lives of children like Lance, Keaton, and Lilley.