Originally created 09/16/99

Mother, her newborn back together at MCG

Seth Crews Moore was born under a bad storm.

Delivered by Caesarean section at 11:57 a.m. Monday at Candler Hospital in Savannah, he developed breathing problems and was whisked away.

"All I saw was his little hand waving goodbye," Mrs. Moore said. As if that wasn't bad enough, Hurricane Floyd was bearing down on mother and child.

About 10 hours later, the mother got word that Seth and 13 other neonatal intensive care babies in Savannah were going to be evacuated to Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinics. Still hurting from her C-section, she managed to get down to the nursery.

"I got to hold him for about 10 minutes before they took him away," she said.

The next morning, she got the evacuation order as well and was also sent to MCG. Though they had watched the storm during the weekend as it gained strength and veered toward the coast, they didn't think they would be leaving, too, said Brian Moore, her husband.

"I thought hospitals were safe shelters and we'd just stay there," Mr. Moore said. "I thought it was great timing."

Instead, they found themselves leaving a nearly deserted hospital Tuesday afternoon.

"There was no one in the hallways," Mrs. Moore said. "It was really eerie."

They soon found out where all the people were when they hit Interstate 16 and joined a slow-moving caravan that took 10 hours to reach Augusta and their newborn.

"We were making six miles' progress every hour," Mr. Moore said, grinning ruefully.

At MCG's neonatal unit, doctors saw that Seth had mild respiratory distress, said neonatologist Chantrapa Bunyapen.

"When the baby's delivered, sometimes the baby does not squeeze out the fluid in the lungs," Dr. Bunyapen said. "As soon as we started treating the baby with oxygen, with the respirator, the baby got better within 24 hours."

Off the respirator Wednesday night, Seth was preparing for his first meal, and if he feeds and continues to do well, he could be released in 48-72 hours, Dr. Bunyapen said. Mrs. Moore is scheduled to be released Friday, and they are less worried about what they will find when they return home.

Dad jokingly suggested giving Seth the middle name of his tormentor, Floyd. But Mom would have none of it.

"Maybe if it had been a cute name like Andrew, but not Floyd," she said.

If nothing else, the hurricane has left them with a simple and important truth, Mrs. Moore said.

"I'm just glad we were able to be together," she said. "That's what's important."


Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213 or tomc@augustachronicle.com.


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