Great Falls Family Thankful for Lifesaving Work at Benefis Emergency Department

After leaving an emergency room with their suffering six-week-old daughter, Quira and Austin Warner had a diagnosis of “probably a virus” – and they had an uneasy feeling.

“They just didn’t take us seriously. We’re young, but we could see our daughter was in pain and miserable,” Quira said. “It was like they thought we were lying.”

They decided to get a second opinion and came to the new, state-of-the-art Benefis Emergency Department. They hadn’t gone there first because they thought they’d have a longer wait time. Instead, their wait time was shorter at Benefis and staff quickly began the tests that led to Talia’s diagnosis.

Donors to Benefis Foundation made possible the newly renovated and expanded 38,000 square-foot Benefis Emergency Department, the largest of its kind in Montana. The new department opened about a year ago, and every day it makes a difference for patients in crisis and their families.

The emergency care was excellent, and the new space made them feel like they were someplace safe, Quira said.

“It’s more welcoming and modern, with lots of technology,” she said. “You have a sense the care will be better because it’s so nice.”

At Benefis, they learned Talia had pyloric stenosis, a potentially fatal condition that prevents food from moving from the stomach into the small intestine. The condition can result in dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and failure to grow.

Pyloric stenosis affects three out of every 1,000 babies in the United States, but it’s most common in firstborn males. It’s vanishingly rare in second-born daughters.

Talia was admitted into the hospital, and the next morning she had an ultrasound and surgery to fix her condition.

“We had the most amazing nurses, med students, nurse practitioner, pediatrician, and surgeon, ever,” Quira said. “They were so patient with us.”

“Talia had the biggest team of cheerleaders, cheering her on as she made progress back to health”

–Quira Warner, Talia's mom

One nurse fed and took care of Talia overnight so her exhausted, fretful parents could sleep. Staff brought in a swing to help Talia rest. Care providers patiently answered their “million” questions and kept their spirits up.

When Quira saw her tiny baby being prepped for surgery, she wept. She felt helpless and confused, “but all our nurses, doctors, and the surgical team assured us everything would be OK, and it was.”

Talia is on the mend, and Quira and Austin said they’re grateful for everyone who made her recovery possible.

“Talia had the biggest team of cheerleaders, cheering her on as she made progress back to health,” Quira said. “It was such a warm feeling knowing that these people actually care and aren’t just there to do their job and leave.”

A Great Falls native, Quira was a Benefis CNA before switching to providing daycare. Austin is stationed at Malmstrom Air Force Base and comes from Minnesota. Quira emphatically recommends Benefis.

“The quality of care was way better than we received at the other emergency department. People trust they can come here. The technology is here. The people are knowledgeable,” she said.

benefis ED with family