Webber Williams Charity Care FINAL

Health & Hope is a newsletter designed to educate and inspire Western Montanans on life-saving procedures, community events and services to keep you and your family healthy.

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A little miracle, two times over Poppy Williams' first word was "da-da," her second "ma-ma" and her third "kitty." That sums up the 16-month-old toddler's family unit in Anchorage, where she is thriving after spending the first 28 days of her life in the newborn intensive care unit of Providence Alaska Children's Hospital. This year, the Children's Hospital celebrates 25 years of service to the community, where many of today's patients are children of Alaskans born here many years ago. Poppy's story – and Providence's ability to help it have a happy ending not once, but twice – is what underscores the way in which the Providence promise, "Know me, care for me, ease my way" is carried out every day. Melissa Webber and her husband, Tyrel Williams, were like any other new, expectant parents in the autumn of 2021: excited, a little nervous and behind on the chores of setting up the baby's room. At 32 weeks pregnant, though, that changed. Everything had been going well for Webber, who said Poppy had consistently been measuring in the 95th percentile at her prenatal checkups. "We went for the ultrasound, and I could just tell something was different," Webber said from her Anchorage home, while Poppy toddled from toy to book to dad and back. Poppy's percentile had dipped, and Webber's blood pressure was high. The technician took the pressure again. Still high. Suddenly, the routine exam was anything but. "It turned out I had pre-eclampsia, and her growth had been restricted," Webber said. "All of a sudden at 32 weeks, I've become a high-risk pregnancy." The next days were a blur while Webber was admitted to the hospital and the Providence team set about stabilizing both mother and daughter. "They gave me a shot to help develop Poppy's lungs," Webber said. Poppy's dad Ty had a flu shot and Tdap vaccine – to prevent tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis – to be on the safe side once Poppy was born. Webber went on IV blood pressure medication. Their whole focus became helping Poppy be born as healthy as possible. "You don't think about anything in the moment except 'Do what it takes to have her healthy,'" Webber said. "She was moving, but she wasn't thriving, and that's scary. But the Providence team was amazing." With round-the-clock care, and Ty coming and going to tend to their cats Kale and Abbott, Webber said she simply trusted the doctors and nurses. It was all she could do. Williams, too, said he had to have faith in them.

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