‘Worst days of my life’: Expectant mother who lost baby forced to wait days to deliver

CHARLOTTE — Ali Tracy-McHenry and her husband were about to become parents. They were expecting a girl they had already named, Bridgit.

“It was a completely healthy, textbook, normal pregnancy,” the expectant mother said.

Then at 32 weeks into the pregnancy, “There was no heartbeat. She was gone,” Tracy-McHenry said.

She may never know why. “Eventually, I was like, ‘So what now?’ And they’re like, ‘You have to deliver,’” she said.

But she says she couldn’t get an appointment.

“I’m at home grieving the loss of my first daughter,” she said. “I just can’t describe how dark those days were. I didn’t sleep. I didn’t eat. You wait by the phone. It was the worst days of my life.”

She said Wednesday turned into Thursday, then Friday, then Saturday, until finally, the call came that she could go to Novant to be induced. She says her doctors and nurses were great, but that she told Novant, “The amount of time I had to wait, from finding out when I lost (the baby) to when they finally took me in the hospital, was just cruel, agonizing.”

She says the hospital sent her a letter apologizing. It says Novant was facing an “unprecedented” number of requests for inductions at the time and that it had hired more staff. It offered to refund the hospital’s portion of her bill, more than $1,800.

“I was grateful,” she said.

That was in September. Tracy-McHenry says months passed and she kept asking about the refund. Finally, in April, she says another letter came, saying her case was closed. But she still hadn’t been refunded.

“I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was so angry, so I contacted you about my situation,” she told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke.

Stoogenke emailed Novant. Tracy-McHenry says that 12 days later, she had her check.

“Frustrated with how I was treated these past nine months with this department. But I’m glad it’s over,” she said.

Novant emailed Action 9:

“Above all else, Novant Health is committed to providing each and every patient with a remarkable health care experience. Any issue or incident that jeopardizes that commitment receives our immediate and full attention. While patient privacy laws prevent us from sharing specifics about this situation, we have reached out to this patient and will be issuing her a refund.”

Tracy-McHenry is a teacher and hopes others can learn from this. If you or someone you care about faces something like this:

- Don’t be afraid to have family or friends make calls for you. It’s an emotional time and a lot to handle.

- Don’t feel bad about being pushy.

- If you can’t get it resolved on your own, let Action 9 know.

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