Long Distance Phone Call Helps Colorado Nurses Save Newborn

By Karen Morfitt

LONE TREE, Colo. (CBS4) — Two nurses from Sky Ridge Medical Center were able to save the life of a newborn boy — thanks to a long-distance phone call.

Madeline Anderson made that call.

“I thought OK, we have to do everything we can we have to save this baby,” she said.

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Madeline Anderson (CBS)

Kara Muma, a neonatal nurse practitioner, was on the other end of that call.

“The connection was great I don’t know how it was great… but it was,” she said.

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Kara Muma (CBS)

A little more than a month ago, Muma answered her phone as she was headed into an operation.

“When I answered she said we’re having trouble with this baby and I’m thinking ‘What kind of trouble, what’s going on?’ She says ‘Well, we are having to resuscitate it.’ I thought, ‘Where are you in the hospital?” Muma said.

Anderson was not in the hospital, she was in Africa on a medical mission trip. The baby boy she had just helped deliver was in trouble.

After an hour of trying to get the baby to breath on its own with no luck she had to try something new.

“Finally, I had the idea, I have the phone number memorized for my unit back at Sky Ridge and then we couldn’t figure out how to make a long distance call,“ she laughed.

Eventually, they would figure it out but getting through to the right person was its own challenge.

“They’re like… they got this foreign phone number we can’t just transfer you,” Anderson said. “I’m like, ‘Trust me, I work there, I know her, you just have to transfer me,” she said.

It took a minute for Muma to wrap her head around what was happening but when she did, she immediately began walking Anderson through a series of checks.

“You just you go into that other side of the thinking ‘Let’s go, let’s figure it out,” she said.

After an hour-long phone call, Anderson intubated the baby and then placed him on an adult ventilator, the only thing available at the hospital.

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(CBS)

In just a few days, the baby boy — named Madeline after the nurse who saved him —  was leaving the hospital with his mother—and what seemed like a smile.

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(CBS)

“It just puts it all together,” Muma said.

Anderson was so moved by what she saw on her trip she started a nonprofit to help get basic supplies to mothers in Kenya if you would like to help you can visit their website using this link: Mamapacksforkenya.org

Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.

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