Andrew Smith
Tuscaloosa County
Not Feature Story
On Feb 10, 1999, our second child was born—Charles Andrew Smith II. At 8:05 a.m. a hush fell over the operating room as Dr. Reed reached in the incision and lifted our son into the world. Nothing could have prepared us for what we were about to see. Andrew's head was shaped like a football. Dr. Reed leaned over to me and said my baby had hydrocephalus and a neonatologist was on his way. Dr. Godoy told my husband our son had spina bifida. Andrew was stabilized and medically evacuated from Northport DCH to Children's in Birmingham. Dr. Oaks closed his back at 2 days old and shunted him at 5 days old. 2 days later we brought him home. Much of the first year of Andrew's life was spent at Children's both as outpatient and inpatient. In October 1999 Andrew became very ill and spent much of the remainder of the year as an inpatient. The doctors and nurses took such good care of him and with God's help he is alive today, happy and healthy.

I can remember the first time I stepped out of the elevator on the 6th floor and saw the ICU sign, my knees buckled and tears started to flow. My husband and I were walking into this world no parent wants to be. I remember a nurse taking my hand and telling me that Andrew was one of the healthiest babies in ICU. Those words brought comfort. As we were overwhelmed with information I had a sense of peace knowing that we were just an hour away from Children's and better than that the nurses assured me I could call anytime if I had questions or concerns. Here we are nine years later and I still have Children's phone number programmed into my cell phone.