| Jake Rascoe kisses his son in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Anthony was only four hours old when the Angel One Transport team flew him to Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
Looking back, Jessica didn't have a clue her son would spend the first few weeks of his life in an intensive care unit. Every minute of Jessica Rascoe's pregnancy was perfect. Every check-up, every ultrasound, every appointment with the doctor went well.
When Jessica’s contractions began three days before her due date, she and her husband Jake went to their local hospital, ready to meet their perfect baby boy.
After Anthony was born, his medical team worked quickly to save his life
"Everything about Anthony’s birth was normal – my contractions were steady, I got an epidural and I labored for two hours,” Jessica says. “When he was born, we immediately began celebrating and crying. All celebration stopped, though, when I looked over and saw them performing CPR on him. It was heart-wrenching.”
Medical staff members rushed Anthony to the hospital's nursery, where they continued CPR. A few minutes later, Jake and Jessica learned that sometime during the birthing process, Anthony was deprived of oxygen and was now fighting for his life.
A physician had contacted Arkansas Children's Hospital, and the Angel One helicopter was on its way.
An Angel One flight crew arrived within minutes to whisk Anthony to Level 1 care
“Anthony’s pediatrician told us there was a possibility of brain damage and he needed to get to ACH immediately,” says Jake. “When the flight crew arrived, the nurse told us exactly what they were going to do with Anthony. We saw him in the incubator for a few minutes and then they rolled him out of our room. We were trying to keep each other calm.”
Once at ACH, Anthony was immediately placed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where a cooling cap was placed on his head. Cooling caps are commonly used on babies who experience oxygen deprivation at birth and have been proven to reduce brain damage.
For the cooling cap to be effective, Anthony had to be sedated and wearing the cap within six hours of his birth. Arkansas Children's Hospital is the only hospital in the state to provide this life-saving measure.
For 72 hours, the Rascoes waited and prayed.
The Rascoes could finally hold their son – and learn about his future
“For a few days, we were unable to hold our son,” says Jessica. “We couldn’t feed him or change him. We could simply touch him gently and pray for the best. So that’s what we did.”
Once the cooling cap was removed, Anthony began breathing and eating on his own. An MRI showed that while he sustained some brain injury, he would likely go on to lead a healthy life.
“Without Angel One, our child might not have made it to ACH in time,” says Jake. “Because of the speed of Angel One and the treatment he received at ACH, I may be able to throw a football with my son or watch him ride a bicycle.”
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