Patient Story

Amanda’s story: A healthy baby and lifelong friends

Amanda Molek became well-acquainted with the care team at Northside Hospital Cherokee during her pregnancy and after the birth of her daughter.

Molek had a difficult pregnancy. She had hyperemesis gravidarum, an extreme form of morning sickness, that caused her to lose 60 pounds and led to hospitalization at 18 weeks for severe malnutrition and dehydration. Molek also needed to have her gallbladder removed at 21 weeks of pregnancy. Soon thereafter, she was admitted to Northside Cherokee with high blood pressure that caused a headache and vision loss. Within a week, her blood pressure spiked, and Molek needed to have a Cesarean section at 28 weeks, 6 days.

Dr. Maria Zhukova with Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists was Molek’s obstetrician.

It was a difficult surgery — Ember was transverse and Molek required a classical incision. “My daughter was born with no blood left in her cord and had to have an immediate blood transfusion and blood pressure medication to help bring her pressure up to a stable level,” Amanda recalls.

Ember was born at 2 pounds, 7 ounces, and measured 14 inches.

“I was informed and an active participant in my care the entire time,” Molek said. “I also got to meet the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) staff ahead of time, so I was aware of who would be caring for my daughter. They explained every bit of my care, and later my daughter’s while she was in the NICU.

“I am so beyond grateful for their staff. Not only did the NICU nurses and doctors care for my daughter for 68 days; they became my friends. They helped me through postpartum depression. They are such a special group of individuals and while I wish my daughter would’ve made it to full term and been healthy from the beginning, I made lifelong friends and have a healthy baby because of the SCN (Special Care Nursery) staff at Northside Cherokee.

“I owe everything to them.”

Ember went home to Canton in May 2022 and recently celebrated her first birthday with her parents, Molek and Michael Mausshardt.

“My daughter is now 1 and hitting all of her milestones right on time,” Molek said.

“She is the definition of strength and truly embodies her name, Ember, a fire that won’t be put out.”

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