Patient Story: Caroline Lunn
The People & Places Behind Caroline’s Story
- Pilot: Kirk Donovan | CommSpec: Terri Smith
- NICU Nurses: Ashley Wilcox & Christina Vanadestine | Medic: Brent Melvin
- L1 Helicopter
- A.R. Gould Hospital
- Presque Isle to NLH Easter Maine Medical Center, Bangor
On April 8, 2020, Presque Isle resident Anne Lunn was 33 weeks pregnant and not feeling quite right. Three months prior, at her 20-week ultrasound, Anne and her husband Steve found out they would have a baby girl. The baby was diagnosed with Down syndrome and a complete atrioventricular septal defect. The Lunns worked with NICU physician Dr. Hagerty and developed a plan to deliver the baby at NLH Eastern Maine Medical Center at 39 weeks via c-section. From there, baby Caroline would be moved immediately to the NICU, where her heart condition could be monitored. If Anne went into labor early, the plan was to drive to Bangor either by private vehicle or ambulance.
With six weeks to go before her planned delivery, Anne was checked by a local doctor who determined that she was having contractions. She was allowed to return home as long as the pain was manageable and did not progress. Later that evening, Anne’s contractions and pain had intensified significantly, so her 16-year-old daughter brought her to A.R. Gould Hospital where she learned she was in active labor. Anne’s contractions were strong, and she was too far into labor to travel to Bangor. The medical team developed a new plan; Anne would deliver in Presque Isle and LifeFlight would transport Caroline to EMMC.
Anne recalls, “When I heard that LifeFlight had arrived, I stopped panicking and breathed more easily because I knew my baby would be okay.”
Caroline had an eight-week stay in the NICU at EMMC, but due to the pandemic, they were allowed to have very few visitors. Anne fondly remembers her NICU nurse Christina visiting, providing reassurance and kindness that helped them through this challenging experience. Caroline was discharged and lived at home for several months before traveling to Boston Children’s Hospital, where she underwent successful heart surgery. Caroline is now thriving and doing remarkably well, meeting all her milestones with the help of PT and OT.