Amy Parker Ferguson has been associated with Children’s since 1989, when she was a Care Flite paramedic. Her exposure to the work of Children’s led her to go to nursing school and to obtain a master’s in education. But it was the birth of her daughter Gabrielle that led to a new perspective on the care provided at Children’s.
Gabby, now 2-1/2 years old, was born with a heart defect. While the baby was born in a different hospital, the family had a cardiac care plan fully in place from Children’s. Cardiologists from Children’s visited Gabby on her second day of life, and it was doctors at Children’s who repaired her heart defects.
In the days after the surgery, Amy and her husband Bill spent many hours in the neonatal intensive care unit. And, when her daughter was transferred to the same floor that Parker Ferguson worked on, her co-workers became her caretakers. “There is so much heart that goes into caring for children with heart problems, and I saw this first-hand,” she says.
Gabby was born with another challenge as well, Down Syndrome, and the care team at Children’s has been instrumental in her development. The family visits the Down Syndrome Clinic, and Gabby sees occupational therapists, physical therapists and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physicians. Gabby also sees a dietitian, has been to the Dental Clinic and has visited a Children’s ophthalmologist.
“Everything is so connected within the Children’s system,” says Parker Ferguson, who also extols the virtues of Children’s at Legacy for its full slate of services.
Gabby’s illness “really humbled me. Children’s saved my child’s life.” The whole experience was an eye opener, says Parker Ferguson. “I had the eyes of an employee before. Now it’s a mom’s perspective.”