Breaking News
More () »

Valley family thankful for respiratory therapist who helped daughter

Some care, with a follow-up of compassion made a big difference for one Valley family.

PHOENIX — A Valley family is praising a healthcare worker for helping their child, grateful the devoted respiratory therapist was there to treat their chronically ill daughter during her stay at Phoenix Children's Hospital.

Life is something to be celebrated, especially for 14-year-old Hayden Lichtenberg.

“I always say she is my masterpiece,” Stacy Lichtenberg said of her daughter.

However, a chance at life was far from a sure thing for Hayden. When Lichtenberg was 29 weeks pregnant, she and her husband learned their baby would have numerous birth defects that could be incompatible with life.

"At the time I was 18 and I was like, I'm too young to bury my own child," Lichtenberg said.

Three weeks after learning about the issues, Lichtenberg's water broke and Hayden came into the world. She was premature but alive.

“She cried three times, and those three cries are what get me through even the hardest days. If she beat those odds, she can beat a lot,” Lichtenberg said.

Since then, Hayden has faced numerous medical challenges. She was born without ears, with her intestines in the wrong place, and numerous other issues.

For Hayden, life is a miracle.

“It’s the little moments,” Lichtenberg said.

Back in April, Hayden suffered from a respiratory infection, which started to impact her ability to breathe.

“It was one of those moments. We are in trouble,” Lichtenberg said.

Hayden was admitted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital and into the care of respiratory therapist Alan Go.

Go said he quickly realized Hayden needed immediate care or would need intubation.

“You have to do something right there and then,” Lichtenberg said.

Go suggested putting Hayden on a BiPap machine to help her breathe. A new treatment for the teenager.

Lichtenberg said it took only a couple of minutes before things started to improve.

“And she looked up to me, and said, mom, I can breathe,” Lichtenberg said, “It was like all the stars aligned and like, okay we are going to be okay.“

In the days that followed, Go continued to check in on Hayden. Soon, doctors transferred Hayden out of the emergency room to the ICU. Go continued to stop by, even coming to work early to check Hayden's well-being.

“I kept checking on her because I was worried about her,” Go said.

“The compassion, just the level of care you have for your patients, doesn’t go unnoticed," Lichtenberg said.

Lichtenberg wrote an email to PCH, praising the compassion Go showed Hayden will she was under his care. She wrote in part: "After 13 years on this journey with a chronically ill kiddo, you don't come across people like Alan often.”

PCH honored Go with an award for his service.

"It was awesome, especially if you get noticed for something you do every night," Go said.

Up to Speed 

Catch up on the latest news and stories on the 12 News YouTube channel. Subscribe today.

Before You Leave, Check This Out