Letter: What if mom or baby is in jeopardy?

Published 10:57 pm Friday, October 27, 2017

When I was pregnant with our sixth child, we moved to a home seven blocks from our Albert Lea hospital. My husband kidded me often  that now, because we were so near the hospital, I needn’t wake him, I could just go by myself when it was time.

Well, on Dec. 13, we were 10 miles west of Albert Lea at a Christmas party at a farm home with a long, narrow driveway, when I went into labor. Before I got to the car, my water broke and the weather had changed for the worst. It was snowing heavily, and the wind had come up. Visibility was very poor. God answered my prayer, and we arrived at the hospital just 10 minutes before our precious Phil was born.

Mayo Clinic Health System has announced it is going to move the baby delivery, inpatient surgery and stay, and intensive care from Albert Lea to the Austin hospital. This announcement was made without discussion with our community.

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We wish to let Mayo k now those additional 23 miles are too far. Many from northern Iowa already drive 40 miles to Albert Lea. Our hospital serves 65,000 people in multiple counties. My baby would have been born in a car if we would have had to drive farther. The birth was normal, but what if the baby or the mom is in jeopardy?

My friend, a retired patrolman, says, “People will die.” In Minnesota, a large part of our year is winter with snowstorms, white-outs and slippery roads.

We in Albert Lea are working to save our hospital, and we are fighting to protect rurah health care.

We want Mayo to give our hospital back. We think this is a reasonable request. That would be “putting the patient first.”

Eloise Adams

Albert Lea