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Spokane family reunites with NICU staff who saved mother and child's life

Six months into Christina Roach's pregnancy, serious health complications almost took her and her baby's life. Now, the two look toward a new, healthy life.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Christina Roach had four other children before giving birth to her new son Elliott. Despite her previous pregnancies, this pregnancy was unlike any other she experienced before. 

Serious health complications prompted an emergency C-section six months into her pregnancy.

Nurses at Deaconess Hospital recall Roach losing a significant amount of blood and needing several transfusions.

"It was a dire C-section," Shannon Linn, Deaconess Hospital NICU RN said. "It was a really scary situation."

Roach said she remembers that day as the day she almost lost her life and her son's life.

"I thought I was going to die," Roach said. "I just kept telling myself, 'keep your eyes open,' 'just keep your eyes open.' I remember everything up until the moment I went under."

Roach said "blind faith" is what got her through the situation. 

"I was supposed to die, he was supposed to die, that's what we were told," Roach said. "But we both made it. There's a reason for that. There's something in the works for that. That's what kept me going."

Elliott was born on Nov. 2, 2021 at 26 weeks old. Most "full term" pregnancies are at least 39 weeks.

Roach's husband, Aaron Carr, said he was terrified. But he trusted the caretakers at Deaconess because he knew they could do the job and save his family.

“I was actually born at Deaconess in 1979, emergency Cesarean," Carr said. "I almost lost my mom and myself and so it was the same situation with these guys. I just knew they weren’t going to let her go and let him go. They did everything they could do and so here we are back again.”

Saturday, Roach and Carr walked back into Deaconess Hospital for the first time since their son was discharged to Sacred Heart Hospital mid-November.

Linn, one of Elliott's primary NICU nurses, said she was overwhelmed with emotions seeing her former patient's growth.

"I felt encouraged," Linn said. "I felt joy. I felt proud. I felt so happy for that family because it was such a journey for that family and it's still a journey ahead. He looks so good."

The moment Linn was reunited with Roach, Carr and Elliott, Carr rained compliments and praises on her work and the work of all the healthcare workers in the NICU unit.

Linn said hearing Carr's high remarks for her doing her work brought tears to her eyes.

"I think for most human beings it's hard to take a compliment," Linn said. "I don't feel like I single-handedly did anything. My team and I do this every day and to see the outcome is just so special."

Elliott went through several additional tests and care while at Sacred Heart Hospital. After being discharged from Deaconess, Elliott spent the next three months under the care of Sacred Heart staff.

March 2, 2022, Roach and Carr were finally able to bring their son home.

"It was almost like we didn't have a baby because it had been four months since we could bring him to our home," Carr said.

The parents said their thanks go to the healthcare workers at Deaconess and Sacred Heart hospitals for saving their son and allowing them a chance to give Elliott a healthy and loving life.

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