“You never really need a hospital … until you do! And then
you really need it.”
These are the words of Paul Shimoff, a man who has never spent a night
in Redlands Community Hospital (RCH). Yet, Paul speaks passionately about
the expert care his family received at RCH.
Not once but twice, Paul and his wife, Susan, waited in agony while the
lives of precious newborn grandchildren, Mila and Nora, hung in the balance.
In those dark hours they wondered if they would ever get to feel the warmth
of their baby granddaughter in their arms … if they would know
the joy of watching her grow up … if they would hear her calling
them by their favorite names, Momo and Pa.
Every gift does make a difference.
Mila was born in the spring of 2014. The delivery was difficult, and Mila
turned blue … then purple. She was immediately in the expert care
of the doctors and nurses who worked feverishly to save her. The nursing
staff was on full alert for 48 hours. Nobody rested. Fast forward to today.
Mila is in kindergarten and — as Paul will tell you — “just
as cute as can be!”
Some three years after Mila’s arrival, the family was expecting once
again. The due date was in late January 2018, but in October 2017, Mila’s
mother, Lisa, was teaching first grade when — three months early
— something went very wrong. A coworker rushed Lisa to Redlands
There the staff sprang into action to save the lives of both the mother
… and the infant.
Baby Nora, born at only 27 weeks, weighed 2.1 pounds at birth. She fit
in the palm of a hand. In the next days, her weight dropped to less than 2 pounds.
Paul recounts the grave anxiety of the 73 days little Nora was in NICU
receiving round-the-clock care. “I saw her in a fully contained,
climate-controlled system, with so many tubes in her … When a baby
is born at 27 weeks, the lungs and brain haven’t fully developed.
As a result, Nora hadn't entirely learned how to breathe. While I
was there, one of the alarms went off, and the nurse calmly put her gloved
hand through a portal and began to massage Nora’s back. I asked
her what she was doing, and she said, ‘Oh, Nora stopped breathing,
so I’m reminding her to breathe.’
“What impressed Susan and me the most was the level of sophistication
within the nursing staff. The physicians were extraordinary.
“A day or two after Nora was born one of the nurses told me, ‘Nora’s
going to be just fine.’ I was thinking, ‘How do you know?’
As if reading my mind, she continued, ‘I’ve been doing this
for more than 20 years and I can spot the fighters. Your granddaughter
is a fighter. It’s not going to be a linear process, and there will
be problems. But whatever they are, they’ll be solvable.’
That’s the kind of care that gave Paul and Susan a birthday to celebrate
just a few short weeks ago with granddaughter Nora. “Two years old,
and she’s cute, cute, cute!”
For 115 years, Redlands Community Hospital has been caring for your neighbors
and loved ones. Each year, 2,500 babies are born at Redlands Community
Hospital — little ones whose lives are, quite simply, priceless.
Some — like Nora — would not make it without the combination
of technology and expert caregivers by their side 24/7.