Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232

(615) 936-1000

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Meet Janel

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When Rachel Davis went into labor in Clarksville, Tenn., with her first child, the baby's heart rate dropped to a frighteningly low 16 beats per minute and little Janel had to be delivered by cesarean section.

The umbilical cord had wrapped twice around her neck, cutting off her oxygen and making her heart rate dip so low. Once that was corrected, Janel appeared to be in excellent health. She even scored a 9 out of 10 on the Apgar test, which measures a baby's health immediately after birth.

Then two days after birth, something went wrong again, and Janel began to make odd jerky movements.

"When we called the nursery and informed them what she was doing, we were assured that everything was fine, and it was entirely normal," Davis recalled, "While Janel is my first child, my maternal instincts kicked in immediately, and I knew something was not right."

Janel had been having a series of seizures, and since her doctors in Clarksville could not determine their cause, Vanderbilt's Angel Transport was immediately dispatched to bring Janel to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

The team of doctors in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit came to the conclusion that a tiny amount of blood - invisible on MRI tests - in the back of Janel's brain was causing her seizures. They knew it would eventually dry up, and put Janel on medication to keep each seizure from lasting a dangerously long amount of time. Janel spent 5 days in the NICU, and made a return to have her medications adjusted.

Janel continued to have minor seizures until she was 1 month old, then the blood dried up as predicted and the seizures stopped.

"Because they were able to get her medication balanced, none of her seizures caused any permanent damage," Davis said. "She is beginning to talk, crawling, pulling up on things and is about to get her first tooth. Not only did she not experience any permanent damage, she is on the front edge of the learning curve for her age."

"The Children's Hospital took the time to do the research and determine what was wrong with my daughter. I know her case was not as severe as many of the other babies in the NICU, but because they treated us as if her case were just as severe, I have a normal, healthy baby, both mentally and physically."

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