Melissa Moron thought she was going in for a routine obstetrics exam last month, but the visit turned out to be anything but normal. She was 18 weeks pregnant. Her physician, Dr. Clint Leonard, told her the unborn baby she was carrying no longer had a heartbeat and that she needed to report to Mercy Gilbert Hospital.
Melissa and her husband Jesse, parents of eight children, drove to the hospital, thinking that they would likely be treated the same way they had years ago when Melissa had a miscarriage -- with a lack of respect for the human dignity of their unborn child.
Instead, they say what they experienced at Mercy Gilbert was an outpouring of compassion, concern and reverence for human life. The couple wrote a letter to the hospital commending the staff for the care they received during Melissa’s stay.
“You treated Melissa, the baby and myself with great dignity and love. You can't fake love. It was genuine,” the letter said.
On April 28, Mercy Gilbert’s staff and administrators, including Laurie Eberst, president and CEO of the hospital, gathered to recognize the care given to the Moron family.
The eight Moron children -- seven daughters and one son -- and their parents stood at the front of the packed conference room as Karen Byrnes, manager of service excellence for Mercy Gilbert, read the Morons’ heartfelt letter that described their experience at the hospital. Nurses, doctors and staff brushed away tears.
The Morons mentioned each of the caregivers by name in their letter and commended the staff for their compassionate and supportive care. Holly Green, the first nurse they encountered on that fateful day, sat with Melissa when she arrived and held her hand. “You could see the concern in her eyes,” Jesse said.
“After my wife delivered our deceased son, many of your staff kept asking ‘What did you name him?’ ‘What's his name?’ ‘Do you have a name for him?’ This speaks volumes of Mercy Gilbert. Giving our little Jeremiah the dignity he deserves,” the letter read in part.
One of the nurses, Melissa Alexander, took the time to dress Jeremiah and photographed him with a toy car. Another caregiver dressed the baby in pajamas before handing him over for the funeral.
Eberst said the care the Morons received was an example of the Mercy Gilbert’s Catholic values in action. Byrnes thanked the family for sharing their experience with the hospital staff and presented leadership awards to seven of the caregivers who worked with the Morons during Melissa’s stay.
The 212-bed medical center opened in Gilbert in 2006 and is one of three Arizona hospitals operated by Catholic Healthcare West. A Healing Garden opened at the East Valley hospital April 29. The 43,560 square-foot garden that sits adjacent to the outpatient entrance offers families a quiet place to find peace and features fountains, a labyrinth and plants known for their healing qualities.
Printed with permission from The Catholic Sun, newspaper for the Diocese of Phoenix.