The First Woman on Cape Cod Who…

A new medical service now available on Cape Cod and I was the first person to use it!

One of the most amazing things about living on Cape Cod is being near Boston. Let’s be honest – from sports to restaurants to medical facilities, it’s fantastic to have that small-town lifestyle but be so close to world-class facilities. I’m always incredibly proud when the lists of top hospitals in the US comes out and two or three from Boston make the list every single time.

We are particularly lucky when it comes to pediatric care. This area has some of the world’s best medical services for children. If you’re like me, you hope you never have to use it but, when you do, you’re incredibly grateful.

My son, Lane, was diagnosed with Ventricular Septal Defect right after his first birthday. Basically he has a rather large hole in his heart. There were no signs or symptoms and it was caught by chance when he was being evaluated to rule out another condition.

I’ll never forget the look on my husband’s face during the ultrasound. He seems to have a sixth sense about these things. No one ever wants to hear that something is wrong with their child. However, the specialist went over in detail that, in our situation, there was nothing to do but wait. The hole might close up enough that he could go through life just fine, or he might require surgery. They will continue to monitor him and know which way it’s going by the time he’s 4 or 5 years old.

When I got pregnant again, I was told there was a higher likelihood of this baby having a heart condition since her sibling does. My maternal fetal medicine specialist is Dr. Takoudes (who is a rock star, by the way. Not only was she named one of Boston’s top doctors, she ran a freaking Iron Man). She suggested I get a fetal echo cardiogram. It means they would take a closer look at the baby’s heart in utero.

I immediately assumed I’d need to travel to Boston, but she told me the fantastic pediatric cardiologist, Dr Shratz, whom we’d seen for my son, was now offering the service in Sandwich and that I’d be the first woman to have it done!

A fetal echocardiogram is essentially a very long, in-depth ultrasound where they take tons of pictures and listen to the baby’s heart in detail. It’s done between 18-24 weeks, when the baby is only around six inches, so you can imagine how tiny that heart must be.

On that day, it was good news. They will do a follow-up once she’s born. Thanks to relationships with Cape Cod Health Care, Dr. Shratz is able to visit immediately after she’s born and check her heart. It was great to see Dr. Shratz again, who was already familiar with our family history. It was also really comforting to be in a smaller facility and not feel like just a number in a big institution.

I grew up in a small town in the south. When I moved to the UK, I still preferred living in smaller towns. Being a part of a community, knowing people’s names, is important to me. I always say that Cape Cod is like one big small town and it’s one of the reasons I love living here. But I’m always amazed that the services and talent we have here. Both of these specialists who are keeping a close watch on my baby girl come to the Cape a couple days a week to provide world-class services. I feel so fortunate to have this level of care and a title of being “The first woman on Cape Cod who…”

About Rebecca Romo

Rebecca Romo hosts Feel Good Mornings weekday mornings from 6-10 am on 99.9 The Q. Originally from New Orleans, she moved to Cape to be with her husband a second generation Cape Codder.
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