Your support helps children like Scarlett receive specialized medical care close to home

on "December 28, 2018 2:47 pm"

On the day Scarlett was born, I witnessed my daughter struggling to breathe… My heart dropped and [I] felt hopeless.” – Sanders Sandoval


In late August of 2017 Scarlett was born. That same day, her father, a Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, could only watch helplessly as his baby girl struggled to breathe, turned blue and seemed to lose her life in front of his eyes.

“My heart dropped and [I] felt hopeless realizing that this was a life or death situation,” Sanders Sandoval said.

Little Scarlett was born with a rare condition called hydrops fetalis. Fluid was leaving the newborn’s bloodstream and flooding into her tissues. The resulting swelling could quickly overwhelm a baby’s young systems and prove fatal.

The Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children team resuscitated the infant and immediately moved her into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She was put on a ventilator. Tubes and IVs carried medications to regulate her blood pressure. The next two days would be critical to Scarlett’s survival.

“In all my 20 years working in the medical field—10 years as a bedside RN and 10 years as an acute care nurse practitioner—I never imagined standing on the receiving end of being a patient or a parent of a patient,” Sanders said. “My wife was unable to bear seeing our daughter in such a vulnerable state.”

That was the Sandovals’ life for days.

Then, a week after giving birth, Jennifer Sandoval was able to hold her daughter for the first time.

Scarlett kept getting stronger. The tubes in her chest were removed, then the ventilator and finally the feeding tube was taken away and the little baby started to breastfeed. One month after she entered the world, the little girl the Kapi‘olani team called the miracle baby went home.

Your support of Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children provides Hawai‘i’s women and children with specialized medical care, close to home.

Hawaii's credit unions have supported Kapiolani Children's Miracle Network for the past 20 years. You can help provide miracles for local families this holiday season. 

Please donate today.