Dr. Alana Ronnquist and family

Dr. Alana Ronnquist and family 
Photo provided by Abbey Medley Photography

 

My name is Alana (Rojewski) Ronnquist and I currently work as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences here at MUSC. I am honored to serve as the 2018 March of Dimes Ambassador Family in memory of my son, Nash.

In October of 2015, I went into preterm labor with my first born, Nash, who was delivered by emergency C-section at MUSC, weighing only 1 lb., 10 oz. and only 11.5 inches long. He appeared to be doing well for only 24 weeks and as parents we remained hopeful. We spent every moment at his bedside in the NICU and over the course of the following weeks, the extent of his lung complications became clear.

After being diagnosed with persistent pulmonary hypertension, he was kept on ventilators, prescribed nitric oxide for his symptoms, and received several doses of surfactant. Through it all, he was an amazing little boy - he would look at us when we went to his bedside, grab our fingers, respond to our voices, and loved kangaroo time. His care team of doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists worked tirelessly to give him the best possible chance given his challenging circumstances. Ultimately, at 55 days old, Nash could not fight anymore and passed away peacefully in our arms.

Dr. Chris Goodier and baby Maia
Dr. Chris Goodier and Maia

Nash is now a big brother! On March 20, 2017 at 37 weeks, we welcomed our beautiful rainbow baby, Maia. She weighed 7 lbs., 12 oz. and was 20 ¼ inches long. Thanks to the preventative care I received by Dr. Chris Goodier and the entire Maternal Fetal Medicine team at MUSC Women's Health, Maia arrived perfectly healthy and full term. She entered the world screaming – a sound we never heard from Nash, as he spent his life on ventilators.

We are so grateful for the care we received from MUSC that allowed us to bring Maia safely into the world. We know that every provider used every resource at their disposal to give Nash the best chance at life, but providers and researchers need more to treat our most fragile babies – research has to progress. That is why we march for Nash – to raise money for March of Dimes that will go towards lifesaving research. Please join our family in the fight against prematurity at the Charleston March for Babies on April 28!

For more formation about the walk or to pledge your donation here, please visit the Charleston March for Babies.