A Visit To Remember

A couple’s weekend trip to Illinois turned into a month spent in the hospital
Family returns home to NH

A weekend trip to Illinois for a family wedding turned into an extended stay for Megan Brabec and her husband, Dan Tothill — most of it at RUSH Copley Medical Center. Arriving as a couple, they returned home six weeks later as a family of three.

In June, Dan and Megan — 31 weeks pregnant — flew in from New Hampshire to attend her cousin’s wedding. 

They never made it to the wedding. Shortly after they arrived, her water broke. Megan’s aunt — Sharon Brooks, MSN, RN — works at RUSH Copley, so they headed straight there. 

“We wanted to go somewhere we knew was going to be good,” Megan recalls. 

She was admitted to labor and delivery where they ran tests — all conclusive that her membrane had ruptured and that they were not going to be leaving anytime soon.

“It was scary,” Megan says. “We weren’t due for two months and we were far from home. I was scared and overwhelmed but they walked us through what was going to happen.” 

Having had little experience as a patient, Megan found herself on monitors and IVs. But, the nursing staff did their best to make her comfortable.

“They were so fantastic and kind,” she says. 

She had been on bed rest in the hospital for five days when her labor started. Their baby girl was born and admitted into RUSH Copley’s NICU, where she spent 29 days. 

“I kept reminding myself that she was early, not sick,” Megan says. Although that was a stressful time for the new parents, their baby did well, hitting her milestones and gaining weight. They looked forward to her discharge date and returning home.

But on the day she was discharged, Dan tore his Achilles tendon and became a patient at RUSH Copley. In between visiting their daughter in the NICU and working remotely, he’d been playing basketball to relieve some stress. Because of his injury, he needed surgery — which extended their stay in Aurora even longer.  

“All three of us were patients during this visit,” Megan says. All three are now doing well and have returned home to New Hampshire. 

To honor her unique birth story, Megan and Dan named their baby Eloise Aurora.

“We were lucky it was a great NICU — and in a town with a great name,” Megan says. “It could have been a traumatizing time, but it really wasn’t. I was never worried. They took such good care of us.”

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