Long-Distance Delivery: Why One Mom From Phoenix Made the Trip to LDS Hospital to Have Her Baby
Mary Johnson had about 700 reasons not to come to LDS Hospital. After all, she lives nearly 700 miles away in Phoenix and there are probably two dozen hospitals closer to her home. But all those miles were outweighed by one simple thing: the terrific experience she had giving birth at LDS Hospital nearly three years ago.
“I knew I wanted to have another baby at LDS Hospital,” Mary told me earlier this month.
She discovered what makes LDS Hospital unique back in 2009, when she and her husband Tim were living in Salt Lake City. Mary was pregnant at the time and came to LDS Hospital after her water broke. After hours of labor but no progress toward delivery, Mary’s doctor decided a Cesarean section was the safest option.
“A c-section had never crossed my mind. I was terrified,” Mary said. “When the anesthesiologist came to my room, I was hysterical. But he was so nice and he reassured me that everything was going to be OK.”
Mary’s nurse offered comfort too. “This all happened at the end of her shift, and she’d been taking care of me this whole time. I was so scared, and I said, ‘Are you leaving me?’ But she told me she’d stay with me. That meant so much to me.”
The nursing staff and physicians at LDS Hospital took a frightening situation and turned it into a positive one, Mary and Tim told me. Their daughter Jacey arrived safe and healthy.
So last year, when the couple found out they were expecting again, they did some strategic planning and chose to come back to LDS Hospital. Mary had two doctors — one for prenatal care in Arizona and one for the planned c-section here. Her due date fell during Tim’s holiday break from graduate school, so the couple scheduled the delivery, drove up a couple of weeks early and stayed with their family.
Everything went according to plan: Healthy baby Molly joined the Johnson family on January 5, and LDS Hospital was just as good as the couple remembered.
In fact, Mary’s recent stay reminded her of a couple more things she loved about LDS Hospital: the Lorna Doone cookies we give to moms, and the room service menu that lets them order whenever and whatever they like for meals.
“Today I had crepes with berries, hash browns and toast for breakfast, then a grilled cheese sandwich, fruit and a vanilla milkshake for lunch. I get the vanilla milkshake every day,” she said.
And she told me that a fondness for LDS Hospital runs in her family: her mom and sister delivered their kids here, as did her mother-in-law.
“We all love LDS Hospital,” Mary said.
As you can imagine, I love this story. As a hospital administrator, I’m gratified to hear that our compassionate and skilled staff has had such a profound effect on someone’s life. And as the father of five kids, I can empathize with Mary’s concerns and appreciate the peace of mind LDS Hospital gives her.
I’m touched by the trust the Johnsons have in us and I appreciate all the members of our team who helped us earn their long-distance loyalty. And to everyone else who’s having a baby or needing hospital care: I hope you’ll remember the Johnsons’ story — and I hope your drive here isn’t as long!
If you’re expecting a baby, come see the service you can expect at LDS Hospital. Individuals or couples who are interested in delivering at LDS Hospital can schedule a tour of our Women’s Center by calling 801-408-3460 or by meeting in our reception area, on the fourth floor of the hospital, 8th Ave. & C Street, on Wednesday nights at 6.