Carrie Sheridan’s relationship with Miller Children's Hospital Long Beach began several months before she and her colleagues at Newport Beach-based architecture firm, TAYLOR, started work on the the hospital’s expansion project. It began shortly after midnight on January 1, 2003, to be exact. Carrie was due to deliver her first child on January 30, but her water broke a month early, on New Year’s Day. Taking the advice she was given during her Lamaze classes at the MemorialCare Center for Women at Miller Children's Hospital Long Beach and Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Carrie immediately headed to the hospital. The fact that she had coincidentally packed her suitcase for the hospital just hours earlier helped expedite her trip.
At approximately 3 a.m., 4-pound, 11-ounce Cole was born via C-section, due to that fact that he had rotated into the breach position. Hospital staff joined his proud parents in welcoming Cole, the first baby born at Miller Children's Hospital in 2003. Cole did not require any time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and a variety of tests confirmed he and mom were ready to head home after four days.
“We were very happy with the care we received,” says Carrie. “It was top notch.”
Throughout his first two to three years, Cole had a history of respiratory health issues, which is often associated with children born prematurely. After seeing several pediatricians, Carrie met with Miller Children's Hospital Long Beach-affiliated pediatrician Dr. Reshma Aggarwal, who immediately diagnosed Cole with asthma and prescribed daily medications. With almost no daily symptoms, he is now playing baseball and soccer and is missing fewer days of preschool. Because of Cole’s asthma, Carrie is sensitive to the environment to which he is exposed.
“Being a mom and a health care architect brings an added awareness to the environmental issues we face today,” says Carrie. “We have made much effort to make this project ‘green’ for the benefit of all the patients and staff, but particularly for the children.”
Today, Cole can be found wielding his Star Wars Light Saber and quoting lines from his favorite movie, “Cars.” With Cole’s fifth birthday approaching, Carrie reflects on her personal and professional relationship with Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach. “You always have a special connection with the hospital where your child was born,” she says. “You want to be able to give something back.”