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MedWatch: NICU Saving Lives

The people who are the best at what they do get there because they know when to ask for help.

Teamwork is especially important in the medical field, where one patient may require many specialists to help them be well.

In this month’s MedWatch report, Michelle Dunaway shows us the role the local doctors play, even when a patient is hundreds of miles away.

“I think we’re just grateful for every day with him. It’s been a lot of fun being new parents and watching him grow and learn. Yeah, it’s just the best,” said Aaron Jenkins.

Like most new parents, Rachel Jones and Aaron Jenkins are over the moon about their new addition, Keenan.

But they have even more reason to celebrate this young life after he nearly died.

“We noticed Keenan was having some difficulty breathing, so we called 911. He was admitted into the ER and when we got there, he had severe respiratory failure and that time the ER team performed CPR and saved his life,” explained Aaron.

Dr. Matthew Arnold added, “He wasn’t breathing, and because he wasn’t breathing his internal organs were failing because of that. And so our job was to place a breathing tube so we could breathe for him, and once we were able to breathe for him his organs started to work again.”

Aaron said, “It was incredibly scary and traumatic. We were in the waiting room with our family and the staff was really honest. They didn’t know what the outcome was going to be.”

Dr. Arnold and the rest of the team at Munson Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit got Keenan healthy enough to move him down to the University of Michigan.

“We realized he needed a higher level of care because we didn’t understand why he wasn’t breathing, and because of some of the organ failure we thought he needed some specialists to round on him and to provide their input because we didn’t’ have an answer,” explained Dr. Arnold.

Keenan spent 5.5 weeks at the CS Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor.

But he was still very much on the minds of everyone at Munson.

“Something that really touched us is when we were in Ann Arbor, Dr. Arnold just continuously followed up. He would call Keenan’s lead doctor in Ann Arbor and ask how he was doing. He called me at one point, and you could just tell he really cared about his outcome,” explained Rachel.

Today Rachel and Aaron still keep in touch with Dr. Arnold months after Keenan’s release.

“We love to hear from our families. And so I think this was a traumatic experience for them and I think the fact that Keenan is doing so well is amazing,” said Dr. Arnold.

You can be sure these new parents aren’t wasting a moment with their miracle baby boy.

“We had such a huge level of support and compassion, and so it really inspired me to show up for other people in need, and I hope to also model and teach that to Keenan. He’s made a pretty big difference in a lot of lives already in a short time, and I think he will continue to do so,” said Rachel.