Baby Beckett’s First Breath

Ericka Byer has regularly brought homemade cookies to nurses at Fairview Ridges Hospital for two years now.

“They’ve become part of our family,” says Ericka, “It’s our way of thanking them for the difference they’ve made in our lives.” She started this ritual in April 2015 when her first baby, Kylie, was stillborn. “We had three wonderful nurses,” says Ericka. “They treated us with such compassion and kindness. They cried with us. They hugged us.”

“They helped provide strength to us that whole day to help us get through such a difficult experience,” says her husband, Patrick Byer.

“I first met Patrick and Ericka when they came in to deliver their stillborn daughter,” says Nickie Anderson, RN, Fairview. “That is one of the deliveries that will just always stick with me.”

Then, last November, Patrick and Ericka’s second baby, Beckett, was also born without a heartbeat.

“At that point, he was lifeless,” says Dale Buisman, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, Fairview.  “We began the resuscitation–the whole team.”

After more than 13 minutes of CPR, Beckett took his first breath then was transferred to University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital for additional care. Now his prognosis is exceeding expectations.

“Most infants who receive long-duration CPR at the beginning of their life would be at risk for significant neuro-developmental problems,” says Erin Osterholm, MD, University of Minnesota Physicians. “He [Beckett] has an absolutely normal neurologic examination right now. He has the best case scenario we could have hoped for.”

“Our job is to know how to deal with emergency situations, but it’s still a miracle,” says Emily Steele, RN, Fairview.

“It’s overwhelming to think, had they stopped, he wouldn’t be here,” Ericka says. “They chose to keep going and keep trying. They gave us our child’s life.”

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