Mom and Four Pound Preemie Reunite with Overland Park Regional Medical Center Hospital and Air Ambulance Teams to Celebrate Holiday Miracle

Critically ill mother gave birth intubated and unconscious and was able to express joy and gratitude at emotional reunion.

Holly Goucher of Lexington, Mo., and her son, Benjamin, are getting ready to mark a Christmas full of miracles. Had it not been for a specially equipped air ambulance and a specialized healthcare team in the air and on the ground, they might not have lived to celebrate the season.

Goucher was 30.5 weeks pregnant last July 4 when she was transferred from Centerpoint Medical Center to Overland Park Regional Medical Center by HCA Midwest Health’s Maternal Transport Team with HealthSTAR ONE, a dedicated air ambulance. Overland Park Regional Medical Center — part of HCA Midwest Health, Kansas City’s largest healthcare provider — is home to the region’s largest program for neonatal intensive care services (NICU) and advanced care for moms requiring intensive care

services, keeping moms and babies together in the same hospital. Staffed with highly trained nurses, respiratory therapists, paramedics, and pilots, the air ambulance operates around the clock, responding to emergency situations involving both adults and children in a four-state region. In addition to the specialized care, neonatal nurse practitioners are included in the service, providing a NICU in the air for babies during their most vulnerable time.

High-risk OB patient Goucher was admitted to the ICU for acute respiratory distress and was also diagnosed with severe maternal sepsis, a medical emergency that threatened both her life and her unborn child’s life. On July 6 she delivered Benjamin by c-section and the preemie was immediately admitted to the Level III NICU at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. He was discharged to go home in late August and today is a thriving five-month-old.

“Seeing Holly and Benjamin reunite with their care teams today will be inspiring,” said Overland Park Regional Medical Center neonatologist Rob Holcomb, MD. “It was a true all-hands-on-deck effort between our OB/GYN partners at Centerpoint Medical Center, our dedicated Maternal Transport Team with HealthSTAR ONE, and the high-risk OB, neonatal, pediatric and intensive care teams at Overland Park Regional Medical Center who worked seamlessly to provide life-saving care to Holly and Benjamin.”

“I am so grateful for the extraordinary care that Benjamin and I received at Centerpoint Medical Center, in the air, and at Overland Park Regional Medical Center,” said Goucher. “Since I was intubated and unconscious for my c-section, I’m looking forward to meeting the individuals who helped bring Benjamin into the world. It means so much to have this opportunity to thank the team that made it possible for us to be here together as a family today.”

The specialized hospital-based air ambulance has helped transform how emergency services are delivered since it was introduced by HCA Midwest Health in October 2021, especially to patients in outlying rural areas throughout the region where limited medical specialty services are available.

“Our team is committed to providing high-quality, compassionate and expert care with some of the most advanced treatment options available in the Kansas City region,” said Overland Park Regional Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Matt Sogard. “Our highly skilled dedicated neonatal and maternal transport teams are prepared to safely deliver and care for premature or critically ill infants and care for mothers with high-risk pregnancies like Holly. It is a joyous moment to celebrate, knowing they can spend their first holiday season together as a family.”