Partnership Safeguards Baby’s Health

Stephanie Bellcock, ARNP-C, (left) recommended her partner, Dr. Susan Hornback, (right) to Laurie and Scott Kluver when Laurie was expecting Bradek.

Despite having a medical condition that could have made achieving pregnancy difficult, Laurie and Scott Kluver of Sac City were filled with joy each time a pregnancy test came back positive. “I only have one fallopian tube, not two like most women,” shares Laurie. A fallopian tube provides a route for a woman’s egg to go from the ovary to the uterus. If the egg is fertilized, it continues to develop until the birth of the baby. One challenge Laurie and Scott faced was finding a medical provider to deliver their third baby. “We doctored in another town for our first two boys, and needed to find someone new when that doctor stopped delivering babies,” recalls Laurie who lives in Sac City.

The Kluvers sought input from friends and family. After careful consideration, they turned to Stephanie Bellcock, Certified Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, for their care at the Lake View McCrary Rost Clinic. “We are very grateful for the thorough care she provides. When one child is sick, she gives us pointers on what to watch for in our other boys which is very helpful,” says Scott, a Sac City native. When the Kluvers, who met as students at UNI, became pregnant with their third child, Stephanie recommended they partner with her teammate, Dr. Susan Hornback in Lake City. “When we first met with Dr. Hornback at the Lake City McCrary Rost Clinic, I remember her sharing in our excitement. I loved going to my check-ups because she always made me feel like I was her top priority,” recalls Laurie.

When their baby was ready to enter the world, the Kluvers share that their birthing experience was top-notch. “The teamwork among each department we interacted with was seamless. The nurses, doctors, and aides were all on the same page with my care.”

While the hours after their son’s birth were precious and filled with all the emotions that come with the arrival of a new baby, there was one area of concern as the Kluvers prepared to leave Stewart Memorial Hospital and take baby Bradek home. “He had jaundice because of a high level of bilirubin,” shares Laurie.

“Bilirubin is created during the normal process of red blood cells breaking down. Usually, it passes through the liver and is then released into the intestine as bile. The body of a newborn produces a higher amount of bilirubin because they have more red blood cells. If the levels are too high, and not treated, the baby can suffer severe health issues,” says Dr. Hornback. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, 95% of infants with high levels of bilirubin fully recover with treatment. However, if newborns are not treated, they can become deaf, suffer from cerebral palsy, or an intellectual disability.

Lab tests revealed Bradek needed a higher level of care and was taken to SMCH’s partner hospital, Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines. “Dr. Hornback personally called us to share his lab results and explain what the next steps were,” remembers Laurie.

As Bradek received specialized care to decrease the amount of bilirubin in his bloodstream with the use of special lights, the Kluvers felt well cared for. “Dr. Hornback and Stephanie Bellcock both called to check on us, our baby’s progress and offer reassurance. The personal calls meant a lot to us,” says Scott. After a two day stay, Bradek’s bilirubin level dropped to a normal range, and he was able to go home from the hospital.

As Bradek approaches his first birthday on July 12th, the Kluver family could not be happier with his progress and healthcare. “It’s comforting to know that the medical team we count on always goes the extra mile for our family. Whether it’s accommodating our schedule, helping us gain a better understanding of a health issue, or making us feel like family, we are grateful for the care we receive,” says Laurie.