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Saving lives . . . Former Bertha-Hewitt graduate works with the youngest of us

Dr. Stacy (Denny) Kern is a neonatal doctor or a baby doctor.

by Karin L. Nauber

Baby Richard Hutchinson might not be here today were it not for Dr. Stacy Kern.

Baby Richard was born at Children’s Hospital in the Twin Cities at 21 weeks.

He was so small that he fit in the palm of a hand.

His mom, Beth, went into unexpected labor in June of 2020. She was only 21 weeks into her pregnancy. Baby Richard was born on June 5.

Dr. Stacy Kern, formerly Denny, a 2001 graduate from Bertha-Hewitt High School said, “Besides being a wife and mother, one of my other greatest passions in life is taking care of the smallest and most fragile patient populations. Particularly those born at the limits of viability.

“A normal gestation is 40 weeks, and as of today, through the advances of technology and neonatal medicine, we have been able to save babies as young as 21 weeks gestation. Baby Richard is living proof of that; born at just 21 weeks and 2 days.”

Richard is the youngest baby that Kern said she has ever had the honor to care for.

“It was love at first sight. These wonderful and amazing babies are fierce and they are fighters. Some of them endure far more than any adult could ever imagine.

Baby Richard Hutchinson of Somerset, Wisconsin was given a “zero percent” chance to live when he was born in June of 2020 at 21 weeks old. He made it home for the Christmas holiday in 2020. He is pictured with his parents Rick and Beth Hutchinson. He was cared for by Dr. Stacy Kern at Children’s Hospital where she is a “baby doctor.”

Richard is one of the youngest babies to survive in the world, which speaks volumes to how resilient he is and how rare it is for a baby born at 21 weeks to survive. Many neonatal intensive care units are not yet resuscitating 22 weekers, so for Richard to be resuscitated at 21 2/7 weeks and not only survive but thrive, is truly remarkable,” shared Kern.

Her amazing character is evident in the way she talks about the youngest of us. Especially when she treats her patients, even the VERY youngest, with such love and concern. . .

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