High risk, high reward for family of six

Local mom took comfort in knowing that she was giving birth at a hospital that specializes in caring for high-risk newborns

Carol & Lachlan Throop, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Mom & Patient, St. Mary's Medical Center

our-stories-lachlanHaving a child is one of life's most precious joys. For Carol Throop, each of her four pregnancies provided her with a new and unique experience. However, while pregnant with her youngest son, Lachlan, she endured a type of fear she had never felt before.

"It started when my obstetrician informed me that my pregnancy was high-risk and that both my baby and I would need special monitoring and care until he was born," Carol recalls.

At only 30 weeks pregnant, Carol was awakened by severe abdominal pain and rapid contractions in the middle of the night. Carol's husband rushed her from their home in Jupiter to St. Mary's Medical Center, where the couple had planned on delivering Lachlan.

At the hospital, they learned that Carol's placenta had ruptured, and that she would need to give birth 10 weeks early.

"I was terrified to deliver that early," Carol says. "I knew prematurely could lead to developmental issues."

However, she took comfort in knowing that she was giving birth at a hospital that specializes in caring for high-risk newborns.

Lachlan was born at just 3.5 lbs. and was rushed to the hospital's Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Dr. John "Jack" Bankston III, a neonatologist on the medical staff at St. Mary's, was the first to treat Lachlan. He informed the couple that their newborn baby needed surgery for an inguinal hernia.

"We were terrified for our little boy, but we put all of our trust in the doctors, nurses and staff," says Carol.

Dr. Charles E. Flack, a specialist in pediatric urology at St. Mary's, performed Lachlan's procedure as the Throop family stayed overnight at the hospital waiting anxiously for the surgery to be over.

Afterwards, Lachlan had to be on a ventilator for 48 hours, but he recovered without any issues.

"We felt fortunate because just 15 years earlier, babies with Lachlan's condition were vented for weeks, their NICU stays were much longer, and there were greater risks for complications."

Lachlan was able to go home a little over a month after his surgery. Today, at 4 years old, he shows no signs of prematurity and is an active little boy. He loves to run, jump, climb and keep up with his older siblings.

"My family and I owe it to the maternity staff and NICU team at St. Mary's for saving our son's life," Carol says.

The Throop family continues to keep in touch with the staff, who recently called to ask if Lachlan would serve as their team captain for the 2015 March of Dimes walk.

"We couldn't be more honored for the opportunity to represent St. Mary's and can only hope that the money raised will allow other families to feel as lucky as we are."

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