Amy Forsyth was in her very first week in her position as Clinical Manager for Labor and Delivery when she answered the phone call from the expectant mom.
The caller told Amy she realized that the women didn’t know each other, but she needed Amy to be a trusted resource for her in the days to come. Scheduled to deliver the next week at Floyd, the young woman knew in advance that her baby would not survive. She wanted to know what would happen in the delivery room, who could be with her and what would happen after her baby was born.
With sympathy and tender mercy, Amy answered her questions and asked for her contact information, telling the emotional mother-to-be she’d like to follow up with her after speaking with her physicians.
Over the next few days Amy and her staff prepared to care for the patient, Sarah, and her baby with sensitivity and compassion. When Sarah arrived to deliver the daughter she would name Tinleigh, a staff of 15 clinical experts including Amy, a neonatologist, a pediatrician and a bereavement coordinator awaited her.
Doctors and nurses carefully and thoughtfully explained to Sarah what to expect and how her delivery would unfold. And when her baby girl was born, Sarah was able to hold, caress and mourn her, surrounded by a supportive team of caregivers and family.
In that difficult moment, she looked at Amy and, through her tears, expressed her appreciation.
“You guys have made one of the worst days of my life as good as it could have been,” she said.
That experience is a milestone for Amy as a leader and for her staff. While there are many joyous moments in labor and delivery as new lives enter this world, for some parents the story does not always have a happy ending. It is in caring for those parents and their babies during the most difficult of times that we have the opportunity to display extraordinary compassion.
This is health care, Amy said. We take the tragic and hard situations and shine through them, no matter the circumstance.