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            Like many young couples, Kayla and Dylan Limback of Corder dreamed of having a family. But the chances for a successful pregnancy were greatly reduced after Kayla was diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis, a condition in which tissue normally growing inside the uterus grows in the pelvic area outside the uterus, often involving a woman’s ovaries and fallopian tubes. While endometriosis is common, if left untreated, severe endometriosis can result in infertility.

But the quick diagnosis by Bill Smith, M.D., of Marshall Women’s Care, ensured Kayla would have every possible chance to have a baby. And a year after successful surgical treatment, she delivered a healthy baby boy at Fitzgibbon Hospital, where her journey began.

            “Dr. Smith is a big reason why he’s here,” said the new mom, smiling as she gazed at the newborn she was holding. “My symptoms were a lot of cramping and heavy bleeding. I thought it was normal, because I always had that. I knew I had a cyst on my ovary, and when I saw Dr. Smith, he said it was about 8.5 centimeters (or a little more than 3 inches). He said it needed to come out.”

            Surgical removal of the cyst was the only treatment option. Dr. Smith had planned a laparoscopy, which uses a special device with a tiny camera, allowing the surgeon to make a small incision and then view and surgically treat the affected area. But according to Kayla, when Dr. Smith inserted the laparoscope, he found such severe endometriosis that he immediately halted the surgery and then sent Kayla on to an infertility specialist for further treatment.

            “Dr. Smith said it was stage 4 and was some of the worst endometriosis he had ever seen,” said Kayla. “I really, really respect him for sending us on to a specialist who could treat that, instead of trying to go ahead and remove the cyst, which would have made treatment of the endometriosis a lot harder. It could have prevented me from having kids.”

            Kayla’s persistent pelvic pain led her to the Fitzgibbon Hospital Emergency Department in January of 2020, when her abdominal pain became so severe she needed a doctor’s attention. She saw Dr. Smith in a follow-up visit and was scheduled for the cyst removal a few weeks later. After the halted surgery at Fitzgibbon, she saw the specialist, Gil Wilshire, M.D., who is a reproductive endocrinologist who specializes in treatment of advanced endometriosis. He surgically treated her endometriosis in June of 2020, and by October she was happily pregnant. Kayla noted that her endometrial surgery was so involved the doctor posted it on YouTube for educational purposes.

            “Ironically, my due date was the same day as my endo surgery,” she laughed. “I honestly think that was God’s path for us. We tried for a year to get pregnant before I went to the ER in pain. And that visit with Dr. Smith is what led us to some answers.”

            The long road of treatment ultimately led to a successful pregnancy and delivery.  Kayla’s husband Dylan says the small hospital delivery experience at Fitzgibbon was second-to-none.

            “The thing about coming here rather than the big city is our experience has been more personal. I like the small hospital where you feel like you’re more close knit with your doctor and you’re not just a number,” he said. “Sometimes Moms may feel rushed. And here they allowed us to move at our own pace and allowed her to enjoy every moment.”

            “Megan (Shepard) was amazing, too, coaching me through everything and always encouraging me,” said Kayla, referring to Certified Nurse Midwife Megan Shepard, also of Marshall Women’s Care, who delivered the Limback’s baby boy Camden in the early morning hours of June 16.

            And as the extended family gathered in the room to celebrate their new grandbaby, maternal Grandfather Jack Thompson chimed in.

            “Bottom line is, the quality of doctors here is just as good as they are anywhere,” he said.

Kayla couldn’t agree more.

            “If you really want a doctor that is going to listen to you, I would recommend Dr. Smith,” she said. “He seems to really truly care about his patients. In fact, I saw him at a gas station one time and he asked how I was doing. He’s just a very down-to-earth guy.”

            And when asked what she would tell other women trying to have a baby, she answered:

            “I would tell them to never lose hope. Keep the faith. I kept my faith in God that we would one day have a little baby, and here he is.”