Making the rounds at Our Lady of Lourdes

Making the rounds at Our Lady of Lourdes

lourdesbaby-webCheryle Haines was born at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, trained at its School of Nursing, got a job at Lourdes in Burlington County, and returned to Lourdes in Camden for the birth of her first child, Maddison Paige Cardone.

CAMDEN — Cheryle Haines hasn’t strayed far from her birthplace. Born prematurely at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, Haines grew up to graduate from Our Lady of Lourdes School of Nursing and become a critical-care nurse at Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County.

She recently returned to Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden for the birth of her first child, Maddison Paige Cardone.

“It’s been a wonderful experience. Everyone has been so welcoming,” said Haines, who switched OB/GYN practices in order to give birth at Lourdes. “I feel like I’m a big part of Lourdes.”

Haines, 29, of Blackwood, was born 1 pound, 15 ounces and only 12 inches long — so small that she could fit in the palm of her mother’s hand. Born by emergency Caesarean section, she stayed in the Intensive Care Nursery (ICN) for eight weeks before being released for follow-up at Lourdes’ High-Risk Infant Follow-up program.

“It’s very nice coming full circle,” said Dr. Margaret Fernandes, chief of neonatology who cared for baby Cheryle. “We have people who were in our unit come back and have their babies here. It’s a good testament to the care they’ve received here.”

Haines says the life-saving treatment she received in the ICN inspired her to become a nurse. Haines worked her way through Camden County College and Lourdes School of Nursing to achieve her dream.

“If it wasn’t for the doctors and nurses who took care of me, I wouldn’t be here. I wanted to give something back,” she explained. “Lourdes was my top school because I was born here and I wanted to work in the facility.”

Especially touching during her hospital training, she said, were the babies in the ICN. “You look back and you say ‘That was me. I was one of those babies.’ The ICN nurses are always on point with the babies.”

Haines graduated in May 2009 and assumed her career providing compassionate bedside care.

“To the people you treat, you’re a complete stranger. But they trust you with their life,” she said, holding Maddison—born the morning of May 9 at 8 pounds, 6 ounces and 21 inches long. You have to do what you can to make their stay as pleasant as possible.”

The timing of Maddison’s birth is especially appropriate.

“This story is especially fitting as the baby was born during Nurses Week and we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the opening of Our Lady of Lourdes School of Nursing this month,” said Lisa Easterby, MSN, RN, CNE, dean and senior director of education at Our Lady of Lourdes School of Nursing.

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