January 31, 2018
DEFINITION: Able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.
When you first meet Alexandria Courtney, you notice her poise and confidence. She’s energetic, kind and ready to help. As a full-time access representative for Mosaic Life Care, she’s the first line for patients as they walk into Mosaic’s doors. Behind her smile and warm personality, you would never know the traumatic events she’s been dealing with for the last few years.
Her story is one of resiliency, the blessings of modern health care and the kindness of friends.
Pregnant with her third child, Alexandria began having complications with her pregnancy and was sent to St. Luke’s and placed on bed rest. At 26 weeks, after trying to extend the pregnancy as close as possible to the 40-week, full-term mark, she gave birth to her son, Nick. He weighed 1 pound, 8 ounces when born, which is considered normal for premature infants born there. Nick came home after a few weeks. One day Alexandria noticed he was wheezing and struggling to breath. By the time she arrived at the Mosaic Life Care emergency department, his tiny body was in full respiratory distress. He was immediately sent to Children’s Mercy Hospital.
While at Children’s Mercy, Nick’s true struggles began. His lung collapsed and he got an infection. Multiple procedures were performed, including inserting a trach and feeding tube. He was on paralytics due to the spells he was suffering. Nick was diagnosed with chronic lung disease, pulmonary hypertension, and atrial septal defect (ASD). Nick would spend more than a year and a half at Children’s Mercy. Alexandria did her best to visit him during the week and on weekends after work.
“There were some weekends we couldn’t go, due to weather. I was juggling our two girls at home. During flu season, the girls were restricted from seeing him. It was a difficult time,” Alexandria said.
As the months wore on, it became clear Nicholas would have difficult medical care when he came home. Faced with these burdens, Alexandria shared her concerns with her Emergency Department co-workers, Jackie McKnight, RN, and Ma’Kia Irvin, Emergency Services Associate. They jumped in to help. Ma’Kia is even considering a career in respiratory from her interactions with Nicholas.
Nicholas is thriving since he came home from Children’s Mercy Hospital after a 16-month stay.
“I wouldn’t have been able to take care of Nicholas and my girls without this support from my co-workers and friends. They’ve been there for me through it all. I’ll never forget what they’ve done for my family.”
Her friends are quick to agree. “Alex is a solid person and friend. I love to help care for Baby Nicholas,” says Jackie. From the looks of the photo, Nicholas agrees!
Amidst the chaos of a packed gymnasium… squeak, squeak. Bounce. Bounce. These are the only sounds that matter. Sneakers and a basketball against a polished gym floor.
When visitors and locals visit historic Hall Street in St. Joseph, they usually look up. A lot. And then they stop and stare. They take pictures and walk very slowly. They usually return, because this neighborhood known as “Millionaire’s Row” tells the story of St. Joseph’s turn-of-the century wealth and opulence like nothing else.
Walking into Café Belle Epoque takes you back in time. The copper tin ceiling, marble table tops, hardwood floors, wood-burning stove and jazz music seem to transport you to a period of economic glamour in historic St. Joseph.
For 100 years, the iconic Cherry Mash has been made in St. Joseph. The combination of peanuts, chocolate and cherry fondant is the third-oldest continuously made candy bar in the country.
Striding through the doors of Artcrafts Engraving Co. transports you from the modern streets of St. Joseph back through our history in manufacturing.