In Their Words

Rita Hardee
Hubbard, Iowa

Skylar Hardee standing my trophy caseWhen I was 18 weeks pregnant, I was told I had a choice to have an abortion or continue the pregnancy with a 1 percent chance of survival. We went to Des Moines, Iowa Falls, Waterloo, and Ames. No doc would take me, so I got referred to University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. The moment we walked in the building, I felt peace and was happy because they took me in and said, “We’ll do our best to make sure you and your baby have the best care here.”

My son was delivered at 32 weeks. Skylar was diagnosed with VACTERL association and has had many surgeries. On day two of his life, he had vesicostomy and colostomy bags and had a reconstruction of his anus. Plus, he had a feeding tube for a year because he was having trouble eating. He is 5 years old. It still looks like he's 3, but he has a tough little attitude to go along with that shortness. He has two more big surgeries coming up, which hopefully will fix his tethered spine and bladder issues. I know the team of doctors will take the best care of him.

Our experience in the hospital was fabulous. The team of doctors and everybody did their best to give our child the best care there. He was born at 32 weeks and was only given a 1 percent chance of survival. Given the odds, my son was put on the highest ventilator and was on the ventilator for three months due to his poor lungs. He has one kidney and still is going through lots of surgeries. The hospital has been our second home for many years. We wouldn’t change anything. Everybody there is really friendly and caring!

Every time I hear someone say, “I have an appointment in Iowa City,” I tell them, “You're in good hands.” It's the best hospital. I would not switch for the world.

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