Thursday, October 11, 2018

A local family is planning to have their third baby at the Norman Regional HealthPlex next month, reassured that they have expert care close to home.

Gabriel Bird, DDS, a Norman dentist, and his wife Erica are expecting their newest baby in November. Baby George is expected to make his arrival on Nov. 8 and will be the Bird family’s third baby born at the HealthPlex.

“Well, now that we are regulars, we are looking forward to seeing all of Erica’s old friends again,” Dr. Bird joked. “We have had nothing but good experiences in there and we’re looking forward to another one.”

The Bird family’s oldest, Emmerson, was born at the HealthPlex on Dec. 7, 2010 and is now seven years old.

Amelia, their second child, just turned one on Sept. 28. Amelia was admitted into the Women’s & Children’s unit at the HealthPlex for five days when she was four months old because she had a respiratory virus and was unable to maintain adequate blood oxygen levels.

She was a patient of pediatric hospitalists Kate Cook, MD, and Timothy Laughy, MD. Pediatric hospitalists are pediatricians who work in hospitals providing care for children ages 0-18. Pediatric hospitalists specialize in the care of children who are hospitalized and will provide immediate and ongoing care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Drs. Cook and Laughy joined Norman Regional early 2018, making Amelia one of their first patients.

Dr. Laughy said having the pediatric hospitalists at Norman Regional HealthPlex gives parents like the Birds an opportunity to have the highest quality of pediatric care while keeping them close to home.

Dr. Bird described his experience with Amelia at the HealthPlex as “reassuring.” He said although it’s a large facility, the family was well-tended to.

“No one ever wants their children to get that sick, but there was a great sense of relief once we were there and Amelia was under such capable care,” Dr. Bird said. “The nurses may not know it, but we can hear them talking out in the hallway. We would hear them talk about how strong Amelia was, how she was a fighter. How relieved they were that she was doing well. How much they loved Erica and hated this for her. It was genuine and sweet.

“I wouldn’t wish hospitalizing your infant on anyone, but if you do, Norman Regional is absolutely the place you’d want to be.”

If your child is hospitalized, the Women’s & Children’s unit has a dedicated playroom with toys, games and books.

At one year old, Amelia is now doing fantastic. She occasionally needs an inhaler, but otherwise is as healthy as can be.

Both Emmerson and Amelia see pediatrician Brian Ellis, MD, at Premier Pediatrics in Norman.

“Dr. Ellis is always so careful and thoughtful, and he was actually where we started the day Amelia was admitted to Norman Regional,” Dr. Bird said.

Norman Regional Kids is all about Norman Regional’s Women’s & Children’s services and reassuring parents that from your first trimester to their last semester, Norman Regional is here to take care of you and your kids. Visit to find out more about Norman Regional Kids.