SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — A new program at Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend offers a service that used to be available only in a city hours away from Lane County.
Not long ago Portland had the only surgeons specialized in pediatrics in the entire state. But a year ago, Sacred Heart Medical Center brought one of those surgeons to RiverBend in Springfield and started the pediatric surgery program.
Little Kylelynn Dappert is seven weeks old and has already had her first surgery.
“Having your kid sick is one of the worst things ever,” said Pleasant Hill resident Audrianna Paulhus.
Her mom, Audrianna, says Kylelynn was having complications with a muscle in her stomach that caused her to vomit. Paulhus says RiverBend’s year-old pediatric surgery program has helped her family tremendously.
“Her dad works in Bend and he’s home on the weekends, and we caught this on a weekend, so he was here going into the surgery. But because it was so close and we didn’t have to travel, he got to stay for the surgery and even the day after,” Paulhus said.
This saved Paulhus and her family a trip to Portland–the only city in Oregon that had pediatric surgeons until last year when Sacred Heart brought one of the surgeons to RiverBend.
And just last month, the hospital added Dr. Kimberly Ruscher. She says it’s already made a big impact beyond Lane County.
“We’ve already seen patients from Bend, Coos Bay, Roseburg, Bandon, so I feel like those communities and communities beyond are going to start to see us as a resource for them,” Rusher said.
Paulhus is thankful to have help so close to home, especially when she and Kylelynn need it most.
“She’ll not be able to eat normally and not throw it back up, and I’m sure she’s really happy about that…I’ll go through a lot less laundry,” Paulhus said.
Dr. Ruscher believes the program is here to stay after seeing the results from surgeries and faces of parents like Paulhus.
“She’s a lot healthier and doing great, and I thank the pediatric office for that,” Paulhus said.
Kylelynn has been in the hospital since Sunday. Her mom says thanks to the close and quick operation. They’re both home and she’s recovering.