The Benson Family

“We found out we were expecting Chase and we had been waiting a long time to get pregnant.

We live about 3 hours from Wichita.  Since I am a diabetic, I was considered a high-risk pregnancy so I was already driving back and forth to Wesley Hospital. When I was in my third trimester of pregnancy I developed preeclampsia. On July 2, I was life-flighted to Wesley because my blood pressure was at stroke level. It was averaging 180/120 I think.

They put me on blood pressure medications and kept me in the bed. The next morning the doctor came in and said ‘Well it doesn’t look like you’re leaving this time without a baby!’. I was in shock because Chase wasn’t supposed to be here until August 23. We thought, ‘Oh, okay. Here we go!”. The doctors decided to start induction at 33 weeks on the dot. We started that on July 5 he was born on the evening of July 6! Thankfully for us, when he was first born he was super healthy weighing 7lbs 5oz, so he was huge.

On July 7, Chase developed SVT (Superventricular Tachycardia).  His heart rate was above 300 beats per minute for over 6 hours and they didn’t know how high his heart rate was because the monitor stops reading at 300. They depleted Wesley Children’s Hospital of all the medication they could give him to slow his heart rate down and none of it was working. They were only supposed to give him about a few doses but nothing would drop it and so they used all of the medicine. We weren’t allowed back there with him for the longest time because they were working on him and trying to help him. They started to offer the option of comfort care with us so we were just terrified and breaking down.

Finally, our doctors connected with doctors at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City. They decided to try shocking his heart back into rhythm. While they did that, they asked me to leave Chase’s bedside. Luckily, that dropped his heart rate and it set it back into rhythm. It was a terrifying night and we don’t know exactly what caused that to happen.

So Chase is better, I’m still in the hospital, we have gone through all the trauma of me being life-flighted, labor, the birth of a NICU baby, and the possible loss of our child and now we are trying to figure out where we are going to go and what we are going to do. We really had no money, we have a car, we don’t know where we are going to stay and we really don’t know what we are going to eat. Like, what do people do in this kind of situation? How do people do this?

One of the nurses pulled Evan aside and asked if we had talked to the Ronald McDonald House across the street. Evan said ‘No, I don’t know anything about this.’. So we got in touch, the nurses took Evan over, and they were able to get us enrolled for a room. Evan was so excited when he came back. He came over and wheeled me over to see where he would be staying. I just cried. That was the first time I really cried through the whole experience with my son. We were so grateful to have the support of Ronald McDonald House.

We were at the Ronald McDonald House until he was released on July 23rd and we were able to come home. Chase is doing really well. We had a check-up for him recently (April 2022) and he’s now 22lbs and 29 inches long, so he is growing! We are all doing well.”