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Reed family’s gift helps support new fetal clinic space

Jul. 9, 2020, 9:16 AM

The Reed family includes, from left, Nicole, holding Alice, Ed, Sam, Micaela, Brenda, Nicholas, Olivia and Colin Reed. (Photo taken prior to social distancing.)
The Reed family includes, from left, Nicole, holding Alice, Ed, Sam, Micaela, Brenda, Nicholas, Olivia and Colin Reed. (Photo taken prior to social distancing.)

by Christina Echegaray

Brenda and Colin Reed, chair and CEO of Ryman Hospitality Properties, are thankful they get to watch their two curious, blue-eyed, 3-year-old twin granddaughters, Olivia and Alice Reed, grow up.

Alice, left, and Olivia Reed inspired a gift to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Alice, left, and Olivia Reed inspired a gift to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

The Reed family recently made a transformative philanthropic gift to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt to support a fetal clinic space and help other families and newborns, like Olivia and Alice, who need maternal-fetal care for high-risk in utero conditions and pregnancies.

Olivia and Alice Reed only had about a 50% chance of being born alive after their parents, Nicole and Edward, learned at a 12-week ultrasound that the girls had a rare condition — they were monoamniotic-monochorionic (mono mono) twins.

Mono mono twins occur in about one in 10,000 births and in only about 1% of identical twin pregnancies. In these cases, the twins share the same amniotic sac and placenta, which leaves the infants at a high risk for cord entanglement, cord compression, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome and premature birth. Children’s Hospital is a premier destination facility for high-risk in utero cases like the Reed’s.

With the help of Children’s Hospital specialists including Kelly Bennett, MD, MSc, the twins were born at 29 weeks’ gestation in July 2016, staying in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for seven weeks. Today, they are thriving.

Vanderbilt also was part of bringing the Reed’s newest family member into the world: Katherine Hannah Reed, the twins’ cousin, was born at Vanderbilt in May to Micaela and Sam Reed.

Using the Reed family’s gift, Children’s Hospital will open a new advanced maternal-fetal clinic and continue to enhance and grow specialty care services for women with high-risk pregnancies.

“We are eternally grateful to the team of doctors, nurses and staff for the care they provided to Nicole and the twins, Olivia and Alice, all the way through,” said Brenda and Colin Reed, who are also members of the Children’s Hospital Advisory Board. “Our entire family wanted to show our appreciation to Children’s Hospital while supporting the continued achievements of the fetal medicine team so other families can have the same chance to watch their children grow up.”

Sam and Micaela Reed with daughter Katherine and dog Moxie.
Sam and Micaela Reed with daughter Katherine and dog Moxie.

The new clinic will be built out and located on the ninth floor of Children’s Hospital as part of the Growing to New Heights expansion, a philanthropic endeavor that added four new floors atop the hospital and advanced the size and scope of existing programs.

“Childbearing families yearn to feel deeply cared about, and this is never more true than when faced with a potentially devastating fetal diagnosis,” said Bennett, director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and director of the Fetal Center at Vanderbilt. “This generous gift from the Reed family will enable us to create a physical space that helps us restore hope and map out a way forward. Within a beautifully family-centered space, our team will ensure that patients feel empowered, informed and confident during a most vulnerable period.”

With an experienced team of experts in maternal-fetal medicine, neonatology and pediatric surgery, Children’s Hospital specialists care for expectant mothers and babies at risk for or born with congenital birth defects or abnormalities. Among the many conditions treated are congenital heart defects, spina bifida, pulmonary airway malformations and more. Children’s Hospital specialists collaborate with obstetrics experts at Vanderbilt University Medical Center to provide the most complete and convenient care for both the mother and her unborn child.

“Over the past 20 years, both as a neonatologist myself as well as a Children’s Hospital leader, I have had the privilege of watching and supporting the maternal-fetal care program grow from a concept, initially part of a multicenter study in prenatal repair of spina bifida, to the comprehensive program it is today,” said Meg Rush, MD, MMHC, President of Children’s Hospital.

“This multidisciplinary clinical program provides a unique and personalized experience for each family in one location. We have outstanding clinical teams who collaborate every day of the week to support families on their journey that has become high risk due to either a pregnancy-related issue or a condition with the fetus.

“The Reeds’ gift will enable us to create a state-of-the-art space to support our obstetrical and pediatric medical and surgical specialists to help families achieve the optimal outcomes for their children. We are so grateful for this gift that will enable us to grow our program well into the future,” Rush said.

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