Submitted photo: Brittany and AJ Waltz of Lawrenceburg, far right, are very grateful that Ashley Asche, RN, Highpoint Health Emergency Department Staff Nurse, center, recognized that Brittany was very ill when her husband brought her to the Highpoint Health Emergency Department. The couple thanked Asche by nominating her for a DAISY Award. Asche was presented the award at a celebration in her honor. Attending the recognition celebration were members of the Waltz family and hospital clinical staff, from left: Angela Scudder, RN, MSN, CENP, Chief Nursing Officer; Dawn Walcott, RN, BSN, Director of Patient Care Services; April Poole, RN, BSN, Emergency Department Unit Manager; and Richard Cardosi, M.D., Facility Medical Director of the Emergency Department.
Nurse thanked after recognizing life-threatening condition
Husband and father-to-be Alan “AJ” Waltz of Lawrenceburg knew something was wrong with his pregnant wife, Brittany. He posted on his business’s Facebook page what happened the day he drove her to Highpoint Health’s Emergency Department.
“I took Brittany to Highpoint Health after she had been feeling sharp pains for nearly 24 hours,” Mr. Waltz wrote. “They ran her vitals and could immediately tell something was off. After a few tests, the doctor said it was HELLP and the only way to cure it was delivery of our child. They quickly arranged for an ambulance to transport her to UC (University Hospital) where the team was waiting for our arrival.”
HELLP syndrome is a complication of pregnancy characterized by hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells), elevated liver enzymes and a low platelet count. Symptoms may include one or more of the following: high blood pressure, headaches or changes in vision, nausea and vomiting, abdominal or chest tenderness, shoulder pain, swelling, bleeding, protein in the urine, and upper right-side pain from liver distention. Undiagnosed, HELLP syndrome can lead to liver rupture or stroke.
At University Hospital, Brittany Waltz, who was only 23 weeks along in her pregnancy, had an emergency cesarean section. The Waltz’s daughter, Charleigh, was born weighing only 14 ounces. As of early October, Charleigh, at 4 months, weighed 7 pounds and was at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The family hopes to have her home by Christmas.
Five members of the Waltz family returned to Highpoint Health this fall to thank the staff for quickly recognizing the seriousness of Brittany Waltz’s condition, one that could have been fatal to both mother and daughter.
AJ Waltz especially wanted to honor Ashley Asche, RN, Highpoint Health Emergency Department Staff Nurse who was working that day.
Asche immediately recognized the danger posed to his wife and unborn child. She helped to coordinate the transfer and rode with the family in the emergency vehicle so that she could brief University Hospital’s nurses immediately upon arrival.
The Waltz’s are very grateful for all that Asche did for them, so much that AJ Waltz nominated her for a national DAISY Award. DAISY stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.
The DAISY Foundation, headquartered in Glen Ellen, California, recognizes nurses around the world for outstanding care and dedication to their patients.
AJ Waltz wrote his praises for Asche on the nomination form. “Ashley’s leadership and the others at Highpoint Health are the only reason Charleigh has a chance. They kept Britt healthy as well. For Ashley it was ‘just another day’ but we commend her for what she has done for our family! Thank you, Ashley!”
The DAISY ceremony for Asche took place in Highpoint Health’s Emergency Department.
AJ and Brittany Waltz came to the party, wearing their “Charleigh Strong” T-shirts, and AJ Waltz brought his mother, Teri Waltz; his grandmother, Peggy Waltz; and his aunt, Kim Powell.
Hospital staff who attended included Richard Cardosi, M.D., Facility Medical Director of the Emergency Department; April Poole, RN, BSN, Emergency Department Unit Manager; Angela Scudder, RN, MSN, CENP, Chief Nursing Officer; and Dawn Walcott, RN, BSN, Director of Patient Care Services.
Asche has been a registered nurse for Highpoint Health for five years. She and her husband, Tyler, have two children, Kenzie, age 6, and Kasen, age 3. The family lives in Rexville.