Alex Clark has experienced firsthand the life-changing power of telehealth. When she was pregnant with her second child, a boy named Camden, Alex learned that the baby had a life-threatening heart defect. Alex was informed that she would require weekly ultrasound appointments with a fetal cardiologist for the duration of her pregnancy.
Alex lived in Grand Junction, Colo., and there weren’t any fetal cardiologists practicing in her community. Children’s Hospital Colorado offers the highly specialized prenatal care that she required, but the facility was an eight-hour roundtrip drive from Alex’s home. And she was already busy juggling a job as a hair stylist with the responsibilities of parenting her older son, who was a toddler at the time.
Thankfully, Children’s Colorado had recently launched a telehealth partnership with St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. The program allowed Alex to meet with a fetal cardiologist at Children’s Colorado from her local doctor’s office for weekly “virtual” ultrasounds to monitor the baby.
Without the telehealth clinic, Alex says she likely would have been forced to quit her job and move to Denver.
“Telehealth is amazing,” said Alex. “It would have been extremely complicated for me to commute to Denver every week, so I was very appreciative.”
Camden was born on Oct. 7, 2015, at Children’s Colorado. He had a pacemaker implanted at 2 days old and spent nearly a month in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. Camden battled through several complications related to his heart defect, including a frightening episode at 9 months old when he went into heart failure. But today, he’s a healthy, rambunctious 20-month-old.
“Everyone at Children’s Colorado was so great about helping us to stay close to home as much as possible,” said Alex. “Every day, I think about how grateful I am for the technologies that helped my son.”