Rozanne Armstrong

Rozanne Armstrong

Rozanne Armstrong, RN

OB/Peds
Holy Family Memorial Medical Center
Manitowoc, Wisconsin
United States

This nomination is long overdue and something that I’ve thought about writing often but didn’t quite know how to put my gratitude into words.
My son was born at HFM. Dr. P delivered him with the assistance of nurses Rozanne Armstrong and Sandra Kiyak. I had gone into labor late the night before and arrived at HFM shortly after midnight. My son was born at 8:31am that morning. I had an easy, healthy, normal delivery (and pregnancy). After he was born I felt great! I showered, had breakfast and was moved into a room. While Rozanne gave my son a bath and had him checked over, my husband and I took a small nap. We hadn’t slept in over 24 hours, so the nap was much needed. Dr. S came in after checking on the baby and congratulated us. The day was perfect!
Our son’s older brother came to visit along with Grandpa. Grandpa mentioned that the baby looked a little blue and my husband and I just put it off on him just being born and didn’t think much of it. After big brother and his Grandpa left, we ordered lunch, and Rozanne came in to check on us. She saw the baby and thought his color didn’t look right, so she picked him up and got him to cry. She mentioned that she wanted him checked out by Respiratory and took him out of the room.
At this point we didn’t know there was a cause for concern. We ate our lunch and my mom and aunt stopped by to see the baby. After he had been gone for what seemed quite a while, I walked down the hall to the nursery to get him. All the curtains were pulled and no one was in sight. I could hear a man’s voice “giving orders” and decided to come back in a little while to get my son. My chest was tightening as I walked back to my room, something didn’t seem right. I told my mom and aunt that everyone was busy and I’d get the baby in a little while. Just a few minutes after that Dr. M was standing before us. He said that he suspected a heart condition and my son needed to go to Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee ASAP. I felt numb, shocked… It didn’t seem real; just a few hours ago he was perfect, what happened? Dr. M did his best to explain the unknown. He mentioned how everything respiratory checked out fine which led him to believe it’s a heart condition… to be honest, I don’t remember much of what he said, the only thing I could focus on was that something was wrong with his heart. Rozanne held my hand and explained that Flight for Life was on the way. We asked to see the baby, but only my husband and I could, so my mom and aunt decided to leave.
When we first saw him, Sandy was squeezing oxygen into his mouth and nose. She did this the ENTIRE time until the Flight Team arrived. Someone had tried to take over for Sandy at one point, but when she wasn’t doing it right, Sandy jumped right back in and kept going. A member of the Flight Team asked Sandy if she had a break yet and when Sandy replied “No” another flight member took over and told Sandy her hand needed a break. The entire time that Sandy worked on the baby, she never complained, never asked for a break. All her effort and attention was on him.
I was able to hold his little hand and not leave his side while everyone “worked” on him. Even after the Flight Team arrived, no one asked me to step aside. Rozanne was busy getting any paperwork in order that I needed to sign before leaving the hospital. She kept making sure that I was okay, she was wonderful. I remember her setting up lines for my son to get the Prostaglandin medication he needed. Rozanne seemed constantly busy in the blur of events that was happening around me. When the Flight Team was leaving with him we walked as far as we could with him, then Rozanne took us outside to watch the helicopter leave. I wasn’t ready to be separated from my newborn.
I know that both Rozanne and Sandy stayed well past their shifts end to help with my son and to comfort me. Dr. P came to the hospital to discharge me just after the helicopter left. I was checked over because I had pain in my chest that would tighten up when I’d stand or walk. It must’ve been anxiety.
My husband and I arrived at Children’s Hospital around 9:30pm and were able to see our son right away. As soon as we walked into the NICU his nurse started explaining TGA and told us “if you’re going to have a heart condition, this is the one to have, we can fix this.” At 2am we talked to a cardiologist who explained everything in depth and told us to expect to be there about 8 weeks. Our baby had open heart surgery at 7 days old. He recovered remarkably fast and we went home when he was 23 days old.
Children’s Hospital is an AMAZING hospital. The Ronald McDonald House is amazing as well, without the RMH I wouldn’t have been able to be with my son everyday while he was at Children’s. But, my gratitude starts with those who recognized there was a problem with him:
Nurse Rozanne who noticed his color wasn’t right. Dr. M who knew he needed to get to Children’s Hospital right away and Nurse Sandy who kept squeezing the manual ventilator for hours so he would get more oxygen.
I know there were more individuals involved with what all happened that day, but the actions of Rozanne Armstrong, Sandy Kiyak and Dr. M are the ones that I will always be grateful for.