A miracle arrives early at the Ronald McDonald House at ANMCMarch 31, 2020
In mid-March, Jasmin Akeya escorted her daughter to ANMC for ear surgery. She returned home to Savoonga, where she knew she wasn’t going to be home for very long as she was expecting her third daughter in early April.
At the advisement of her medical provider, they made arrangements for her to return to Anchorage to await the arrival of her newest baby.
Jasmin traveled back to Anchorage, alone this time, and arrived to Patient Housing late into the evening on March 20 and checked into her room in the Ronald McDonald House at ANMC on the 6th floor.
She made her way to room 619 and fell asleep for the evening, when unexpectedly, her water broke during the night and she gave birth in the early hours of March 21.
“From what I remember I woke up in pain,” said Jasmin who felt the familiar movements of labor and tried to hold in her baby. She realized her body was pushing on its own. “I just relaxed, let go and gave birth in my room.”
Still wearing pants, she made her way to the bathroom.
“I was holding the baby in my pants (and) went to the bathroom and grabbed towels. After I grabbed towels I don’t remember anything after that.”
During regular rounds, a housekeeping staff member came by to clean and discovered Jasmin on the floor of the bathroom with the new baby.
The housekeeping manager happened to be walking by at the same time, saw the situation and called ANMC security as well as 911 to help assist in caring for the health and safety of Jasmin and her new daughter.
ANMC Security, the Anchorage Fire Department and housekeeping staff worked to transport mother and baby to ANMC for follow-up care.
Krista Akeya, Jasmin’s sister, was on her way to Anchorage to be present for the birth when she missed her connecting flight in Nome and had to wait overnight to catch another flight to Anchorage. The news of her niece’s early arrival shocked her.
“(We) couldn’t really think so we all gathered at my aunt’s house and prayed,” said Krista describing her family’s reaction to the arrival of their newest family member, several weeks early.
Jasmin, who has two daughters at home, named her new baby with the help of her oldest daughter Harmony. They decided on the name Ella Lois Lola Akeya Noongwook.
She also gave her a name in Siberian Yupik: Allaaghlluggaq, which means miracle.
“I didn’t have a choice but to do it by myself. But I am so happy that the staff go knocking on doors to see if we need anything otherwise I don’t know how long we would’ve been back there,” said Jasmin.
The staff at Patient Housing and RMHC were also worried about Jasmin.
“We’d thought we’d seen every situation but not one like this. Our biggest concern was how the baby and mother were after moving to ANMC,” said Dianne McKinley, Ronald McDonald House Manager. “We were so relieved when she came back to our floor.”
Baby Ella Lois Lola and her mother returned back to the Ronald McDonald floor of Patient Housing at ANMC to continue recovering after an otherwise healthy, albeit early and surprising, stay in ANMC Family and Birthing Services department.
“She’s beautiful. She seems like she’s gotten a little heavier,” Jasmin said of her miraculous daughter.
The only Ronald McDonald House in Alaska is at the Alaska Native Medical Center, located in Anchorage. The House is a floor within the six-story ANMC patient housing building. It provides a home-away-from-home for ANMC eligible patients, including expectant mothers with high-risk pregnancies as well as pediatric patients and their families.