Patient Reflections

Patient Reflections

Blessing in Disguise

When forced by insurance coverage to find a new ‘medical home’, Tina Huinker, Ossian, is so glad that Palmer Lutheran Health Center was there for her and her family.

“When our insurance switched, my growing family had to find a new place to doctor,” Huinker recalls. “So, when my husband, Randy, and I were expecting our third child, we turned to Palmer Lutheran Health Center for OB care and delivery.”

Having pregnancy complications before, such as pre-eclampsia and miscarriages, the Huinkers were excited to add another baby to big brothers, Dawson and Quinn, but knew there would be risks involved. However, they never foresaw they would meet their tiny baby girl, Linlee, at 26 weeks, weighing in at 1 pound 13 ounces.

“Having pregnancy scares before, we knew the viability for a baby was at the 26 week cut-off, but never expected anything to happen,” Huinker remembers. “I was doctoring at Gundersen in West Union and my blood pressure was a little high, but nothing to be concerned about.”

Then, months before her due-date, Huinker started bleeding at home. Calling her husband, the entire family rushed to Palmer Lutheran Health Center and was seen immediately. Hearing the heartbeat right away was reassuring for the scared mom.  With medical staff checking both mom and baby, relief washed over the parents as neither was in distress. However, the continuous bleeding concerned Palmer staff and Huinker was transported to La Crosse via helicopter.

“As we got closer to La Crosse, the pain started,” Huinker says. “It was then I knew something was going on, and this baby was coming much early than expected.”

Rushed to surgery, the baby was in distress and an emergency c-section was performed. Moments later, a sweet baby girl joined the Huinker family.  Born premature, Linlee remained in the hospital

for four months. Once home, Palmer Home Health met the family to provide services.

“With Linlee being so tiny, we didn’t want to take her out all the time; however, she needed to be checked regularly. Palmer Home Health was excellent. They came to the house for months weighing Linlee and checking her vitals. It made it so much easier for our family.”

Being so premature, Linlee continues daily to face her own challenges and struggles, but she is the strongest, bravest little girl her mom has ever seen, “She has mild cerebral palsy, but we are working with that. She is doing well and the future looks good. But, with the determination this little ball of fire has, I know that anything is possible.”

And, having such an excellent medical facility so close to home, Huinker knows exactly who to turn to with any need.

“We are so lucky to have such a hospital close to home. We use Palmer Lutheran for our entire healthcare, from the Emergency Room to Urgent Care. No one wants to be forced to find a new family doctor and medical home, but we are so glad and thankful we were!”