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The Miracle of the Modern Day Stork

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The Miracle of the Modern Day Stork

On the evening of Thursday, July 9, 2020, Andrew Allred watched as a helicopter carrying his pregnant wife, Satomi Kishi, took off from Fort Irwin in the Mojave Desert and headed southwest towards Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PVHMC).

As a helicopter pilot and Chief Warrant Officer 3 for C Company 2916th Aviation Battalion’s Medevac unit at the United States Army’s Fort Irwin, Andrew was used to being on the flight, navigating missions for injured soldiers, civilian rescues and transferring patients in need of higher levels care, such as maternity care. In fact, he had facilitated a number of transports of pregnant women from Fort Irwin to PVHMC in his past two years as a Medevac pilot.

Andrew said he had no worries about not being on the flight, though. He had spent the past two years working with and living alongside the flight crew, which included Captain Patrick Fitzsimmons, Pilot in Command; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Adam Murphy, Pilot; Sergeant William Blaine, Crew Chief; and Staff Sergeant Deric Randol, Medic; as well as a Labor and Delivery Nurse from Weed Army Community Hospital.

He was confident that Satomi was in great hands. And so, he began his more than 120-mile drive to the hospital to meet his wife and soon-to-be-born baby girl.

Meanwhile, on the helicopter, Satomi was experiencing a number of emotions in anticipation of her delivery. She had been monitored throughout her pregnancy for her continually dropping platelet levels and was at a high risk of hemorrhaging during her birth. As a high-risk maternity patient, she knew that she would be brought to PVHMC, where our highly trained Maternal-Fetal Transport Team was ready and waiting to provide her with specialized care. With this peace of mind, she says she was able to enjoy her first ever ride on a helicopter.

Once at the hospital, Satomi, whose first language is Japanese, says she felt safe and welcomed by staff in the Women’s Center.

“The nurses were so engaging and kind,” she said. “They picked up on the language barrier right away and made it easy for me to understand what was going on. And when it was time, they clearly explained to me the method on how to push and coached me through it.”

And so, just hours after their arrival, at 5:30 am on Friday, July 10, Satomi and Andrew welcomed little Sophia into the world. Satomi recalls the moment she met her daughter as overwhelming and full of emotions.

Not long after their delivery, the new family of three was visited by Laurie Hummel, RN, Maternal-Fetal Transport Coordinator, who often checks-in on patients who have arrived via the hospital’s Maternal-Fetal Transport Program. Immediately, Andrew says he recognized her face (even with a mask on) and after a brief conversation, discovered they had indeed met many times before.

“During a mission, once we land and the patient is being transported inside of the hospital, most of the crew waits on the helipad,” said Andrew. “I recognized Laurie straight away. She always comes out to greet us on the helipad and is truly one of the friendliest hospital staff I’ve met – she is constantly expressing gratitude to our crew and bringing us water and snack boxes.”

Laurie adds that she was humbled and excited to see Andrew on the flip side of a transport.

“It was such a surprise and so moving that they trusted PVHMC because they know the care that we offer to our patients,” said Laurie. “They are a beautiful family and we are deeply grateful for their service to our community.”

Beyond sleeping in their own bed, Satomi and Andrew say they were most looking forward to going home and beginning their family together. They are especially excited to start creating their own special family customs and traditions.

To learn more about PVHMC’s Maternal-Fetal Transport Program, visit: