OXNARD, CA – June 19, 2020 – St. John's Regional Medical Center (SJRMC) mom, Serrica Michalek, never expected she would give birth during a pandemic, let alone that her baby boy would require some time in the NICU. However, she and her husband are incredibly appreciative of their newborn son's care in the SJRMC Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After giving birth at just 32 weeks in the St. John's Maternity and Birthing Center on April 28, it was determined that newborn Zachariah Michalek needed additional support. With visitation limitations and the coronavirus as obstacles, the new parents faced unusual circumstances after the birth of their second-born, who required specialized care during his six-week stay in the NICU.
"We are incredibly grateful for the special attention to care that our son received during his stay in the NICU," says Serrica Michalek. "I had confidence in his care team. They were all great at communicating my son's care at all times."
Throughout his hospital stay, both mom and dad took turns by their newborn son's side, as visitation was limited to one family member at a time. He was introduced to the rest of his adoring family, initially using electronic communication, an additional measure the hospital has taken to keep patients and their loved ones connected.
"Initially, I was worried about the experience of childbirth and a stay in the NICU amid a pandemic," says Serrica. "However, from the beginning, it was obvious that the hospital has a solid foundation of putting safety first, it put my mind at ease knowing my baby was in good hands."
After his stay in the unit, Zachariah was released home and is healthy and safe, surrounded by his loving family.
Throughout the pandemic, for the health and safety of our patients and staff, St. John's has implemented extensive measures:
Everyone is screened before entry Masks are required and provided to anyone in need Visitor limitations are enforced Enhanced disinfectant protocols maintain a clean and sterile environment Those that have COVID-19 symptoms are cared for in separate areas Private rooms allow for additional safety and comfort
SJRMC's Level III NICU provides highly specialized, family-centered care for newborns that require extra attention. In July of 2020, the NICU will move into a new and expanded space that features 20 all private, state-of-the-art suites designed for parents to stay close to their newborn(s) receiving intensive care.
[PHOTOS: Mom - Serrica Michalek, Baby - Zachariah Michalek]
About Dignity Health St. John’s Regional Medical Center
St. John’s Regional Medical Center is a 265-bed acute care, award-winning facility. Serving Ventura County for more than one hundred years, St. John’s is the first and only Certified Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center in Ventura County and a recipient of the American Heart Association’s, Get with the Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. Designated as a STEMI Receiving Center, St. John’s is highly recognized in the community for excellence in cardiac care and has been named a Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care by Blue Shield of California. Our Cancer Center is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, and our Integrated Breast Center is accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers. SJRMC houses a comprehensive Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, providing specialized care to the tiniest patients as well as a Beacon Award-Winning Intensive Care Unit. Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to help meet the growing health care needs of our communities.