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It's About Caring for Oliver Kezar

It was the middle of the night on June 6, 2010. Surrounded by nurses and a hospital chaplain, Jeff Kezar waited outside an operating room at Sanford.

Minutes earlier he’d witnessed the unthinkable: His six-pound newborn son was in respiratory failure, his wife, Beth, in another room, under cardiac arrest after giving birth. A team of doctors took every possible step to resuscitate her.

“I walked out of the OR completely numb,” recalls Jeff. “All I could see was black, except for one sliver of light.”

Hours later … a new day. Baby Oliver stabilized with help from Sanford Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Beth survived, regaining consciousness in Sanford’s Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. Both required the expertise and technology readily available at Sanford. Tests showed Beth had a rare heart condition and a blood clot. Oliver had treatable heart defects and Down syndrome.

Months later, Oliver again needed the specialized care of Sanford Children’s. That’s when Jeff made an unusual discovery. He was eating lunch in the cafeteria when a nurse came up to him.

“ ‘You don’t know me, but I was in the OR when Oliver was born’,” Jeff recalled. “ ‘A bunch of us nurses left that night not knowing what happened with Beth. We got together and prayed she hadn’t passed away.’ ”

Today the family’s back home in Thief River Falls, Minn., and doing well. With ongoing therapy, Oliver has surpassed all expectations – talking, growing, learning. And he loves playing with his big sister Piper.

Jeff and Beth believe the sky’s the limit for Oliver and they’ll do anything it takes to get there. Friends have already introduced him to hockey.

“This little guy is so full of love – silly, goofy and always happy,” Beth said. “He brings a light wherever he goes.”

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Posted Date: June 2012