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    Pregnant woman gets Fairbanks hospital to ease COVID visitation restrictions

    By AlaskaWatchman.com

    Fairbanks resident Kristin Cash is less than two days away from giving birth to her sixth child. Like her previous five labors, she will need a caesarian section at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.

    Fairbanks Memorial Hospital

    In preparation for her Sept. 24 labor, Cash has spent several weeks negotiating with hospital leadership so that she can have visits from her children and husband, Jimi Cash, who sits on the Fairbanks Borough Assembly.

    The problem is that the hospital is currently at “Level 4” with respect to COVID policies, which means most patients are only allowed only one visitor who is permitted just a single visit. Additionally, no visitors under age 18 are to be admitted.

    Cash found this unacceptable and this summer she began pressing the hospital board of directors to make accommodations – twice asking them for a meeting.

    “They did not even acknowledge my request for a meeting,” she told the Alaska Watchman.

    According to Cash, she eventually informed the hospital that if her family was not permitted to see her, she wanted to be able to take her newborn outside the hospital so the family could at least visit there. Barring this option, she said she wanted an early release following her delivery.

    At first, Cash said the hospital refused to budge. She persisted, however, saying she was prepared to take her story to the media and alert the public as to how restrictive the hospital was with pregnant women.

    She said she had an ongoing dialogue with Kelly Atlee, the hospital’s public relations director, about the seriousness of her request. This led to a hospital staff meeting on Sept. 7, which ultimately resulted in some accommodations being made, Cash said.

    I’m not a prisoner coming to a warden. This is a birth. I’m coming to the hospital and paying thousands of dollars to have them deliver this baby.

    The hospital agreed to let her nurse her one-year-old, who would be allowed to come to the hospital without a mask. Additionally, she would be granted an early release – 24 hours after her cesarian section – and her husband would be permitted more than just a single visit – one during the birth and one after, Cash said.

    “My meeting went well, but it would not have gone that way if I had not kept persisting,” she observed. “People need to know this is an issue, and hopefully this will incline others to jump on the train and realize they can advocate for themselves and ask for these things.”

    Cash is a certified labor doula, offering labor support to women in Fairbanks for many years. She said most women don’t know their rights when they check into the hospital, especially with regard to COVID policies.

    “They are just told that no one can come visit them or support them,” she noted. “Moms are feeling isolated. The hospital needs to know that people are aware of the situation, and I’m happy to share my experience.”

    Overall, Cash said she has respect for hospital staff who agreed to work with her and make special accommodations.

    “I think this is necessary,” she said. “If you’re going to tell people they can’t have family in there, then you need to make accommodations. I’m not a prisoner coming to a warden. This is a birth. I’m coming to the hospital and paying thousands of dollars to have them deliver this baby.”

    Cash said she plans to document how her labor goes, and whether the hospital sticks to its agreement. Her hope is that other women will feel empowered by her experience to advocate on their own behalf.

    The Watchman contacted the Fairbanks hospital asking for clarification on how it deals with patients who request special accommodations to COVID visitation restrictions. Our questions were not answered.

    According to the hospital’s website, patients have the right to “freely voice complaints and recommend changes without being subject to coercion, discrimination, reprisal, or unreasonable interruption of care, treatment, and services.”

    Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

    Joel Davidson
    Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.

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    18 Comments

    1. Don’t you just love medical tyranny? Trying to control everybodies lives over a fake virus. We’re still waiting on that isolate that you government idiots still haven’t provided. This is why I don’t go to hospitals,, medical staff are the most retarded human beings society has to offer

      • Michael, with all do respect, Covid 19 is NOT fake. It is a real virus that I just spent 6 days in the hospital recovering from! Now how it startd is a whole other subject. I believe it was a planned event and Dr Fauci and others need to be held accountable for the havoc it has caused worldwide. I did not get the jab and will not. God made my body to work the way he intended; fearfully and wonderfully made. I look forward to many more years with strong antibodies and no unpredictable man made ones.

    2. I work there and wouldn’t want anyone there that doesn’t absolutely need to be there. She is putting her family at risk. There are kids all over this country without parents because they died from COVID. It’s a very scary virus and something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. If anyone HONESTLY thinks it’s fake please come volunteer at the hospital for a few days and see it up close.

      • Children are not at risk of covid, everybody already knows this. If doctors and nurses can wear gloves, gowns, and masks, why can’t visitors?

          • Please provide proof of your claim. My understanding is children are being hospitalized with RSV but then are given Covid tests anyway. If positive the child is said to have Covid instead of RSV.

      • Hello John,
        Thank you for your continued work at the hospital. I can’t even imagine what that is like and you are a brave soul to do it every day! A few considerations –
        The very definition of a hospital is a place for sick people to go and get better. So to say that you work in a hospital full of sick people isn’t exactly a surprise or out of the ordinary.
        You mention that this women is putting her family at risk. That is her choice. That is her family’s choice. That is not the hospital’s choice.
        You mention that “kids all over this country are without parents because they died from COVID.” This statement is misleading, subjective, and based on fear, not fact. Every person alive has a parent and every person alive will die from something at some point. Therefore, you could also say that kids all over this country are without parents because they died from cancer, heart disease, car accidents, falling, old age, and so on… And if you are talking about children (such as 0-16 years of age) not having parents because their parents died from COVID, there are no statistics to back up that claim. The average age of a mother and father when they have their first child is 23 and 25 respectively (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nsfg/key_statistics/b.htm). Deaths involving COVID in the 0-49 age range account for only 5% of COVID deaths (https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Provisional-COVID-19-Deaths-by-Sex-and-Age/9bhg-hcku). And that is if you assume that every death from COVID was ONLY FROM COVID and did not include any additional causes of death.
        You mention that the virus is very scary. For some this is true – the elderly, the obese, those with pre-existing conditions, those that are malnourished and deficient. Again however, this statement is misleading, subjective, and based on fear, not fact. According to the CDC, from February 2020 to May 2021, an estimated 120 million people in America were infected with COVID (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/burden.html). This means that on average, you have less than a .5% of dying from COVID were you to be infected, a number which falls to nearly 0% for the young and climbs for the elderly, obese, those with pre-existing conditions, those that are malnourished and deficient, etc.
        It would be very interesting to volunteer with you at the hospital. However, in my own opinion and based on the many hours of research I have conducted, I would assume that the people who are struggling the worst with COVID are the elderly, the obese, those with pre-existing conditions, and those that are malnourished and deficient. I would also assume that were I to suggest the use of Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine, high-dose IV vitamin C, vitamin D, Zinc, and the myriad other possible treatments for COVID, as well as suggesting to patients that they lose weight, exercise, remove sugar and animal products out of their diets, and increase fresh fruit and vegetable intake, that I would be promptly silenced and removed from the hospital for spreading hateful misinformation. Because of course, the only approved treatment for COVID is the vaccine and maybe a ventilator.
        Thank you again for your continued work at the hospital and I do believe you to be doing the best that you can given the circumstances. However, I would encourage you to dig past the surface and your personal experience and into the facts and figures of what’s really going on. A great resource to get started with is greenmedinfo.com. Happy reading!

    3. I had 5 babies in the hospital and they were emotionally abusive, coercive, and unapproachable before COVID. I can’t imagine what it’s like now.

    4. A hospital cannot keep you there. If you want to leave, you can leave. So the early release thing is bogus, she can just leave whenever she wants to. It is called “Against Medical Advice,” or AMA, No one can stop you from leaving a hospital…unless you are prisoner and under arrest.

      • They will call Child Protective Services and keep your baby if you leave early. They have the power to do so. And they will, so they can mitigate their own liability.

      • They can and have kept people in the hospital who wanted to leave. Look up the story of Bret Bohn at Providence. There are and have been medical hostages all over the country.

    5. It’s all about fear and control !! As long as you sheepeople are standing in Fear from this instead of using your head they will have control !!
      It’s all about taking your Freedom’s and our Constitution away from us period. Where can they scare you the most, in the hospital. Because that hits everyone in the Heart and then it’s where you work.
      It’s all wrong and no one should be kept from seeing family in the hospital. Even if it’s a new child being born or someone’s child or spouse on their death bed.
      They are Scaring you from the Television to the Hospital.

    6. She blessed her husband is there providing her his authority. If she didn’t have no man providing her his authority, she wouldn’t have the confidence to determinedly advocate for herself as she was. Because of her the man’s authority shadowing her thats why the Hospital finally gave way. It had nothing to do with a woman’s efforts.

      • Men today (including women) underestimate how much authority a man possess and how they influence peoples around whether or not they are directly or indirectly involved. Authority is given to the Man, and by nature we are inclined to submit to it, when the man is near-by.

    7. Anyone who has delivered a baby knows how important it is to have someone who loves near at that time. How cruel the medical industry has become as the corona virus, the common cold virus, vectors America away from liberty to satisfy insatiable appetites of foreign powers with animus toward Americans, their economy and way of life. Good for her to gain accommodations.

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