WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital welcomes first patients, performs first surgery

A five-week-old girl from Nicholas County was the facility’s first patient.
Five-week-old Adilynn “Addi Jo” Goodnight of Birch River in Nicholas County was the first...
Five-week-old Adilynn “Addi Jo” Goodnight of Birch River in Nicholas County was the first patient admitted to the new facility.(WVU Medicine)
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 6:01 PM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - Thursday was a day of firsts for the new WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital with the first patients moved into the facility and first surgery performed all in the same day.

“Opening the doors to our new Children’s Hospital is a day our team will never forget,” Amy L. Bush, B.S.N., M.B.A., R.N., C.N.O.R., chief administrative officer for WVU Medicine Children’s, said. “A very special thank you to our patients, families, community, and the entire healthcare team. We look forward to furthering our mission of building healthier futures for our children and delivering the best possible outcomes for the children who need our care.”

Before the sun rose, five-week-old Adilynn “Addi Jo” Goodnight of Birch River in Nicholas County was wheeled from the sixth floor of WVU Medicine J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) on the sixth floor of the new Children’s Hospital, making her the first patient admitted to the new facility.

Little Addi Jo has been a patient of WVU Medicine Children’s since she was born on Aug. 17. She was diagnosed with a coarctation of the aorta at birth and underwent heart surgery at one-week-old.

Jessica King, Addi Jo’s mother, said she was very excited that the baby was chosen to be the first patient in the new Hospital.

“It is really sweet that they picked her out of everyone because she has been through so much,” King said. “She will have this experience to look back on when she gets older.”

Addi Jo was followed into the new WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital by Kenadie Barclay, 12, of Jane Lew in Lewis County, who was the first patient admitted to the Pediatric Acute Care Unit on the ninth floor. At 11 a.m. this morning, newborns Maverick Davis of Morgantown and Salvatore Coneway of Allison, Pennsylvania, were the first patients admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) on the seventh floor.

While patients and staff made the trek from Ruby Memorial Hospital to WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital, surgical staff were at work on the third floor performing the first surgery in the new facility.

Osama Al-Omar, M.D., M.B.A., chief of Pediatric Urology, operated on Dallas Kelly, age 1 of Fairmont in Marion County.

“As soon as we met him, we knew he was the one,” Jake Kelly, Dallas’ dad, said of Dr. Al-Omar. Mom Emily Kelly added, “We didn’t get a second opinion because we trusted him. To find doctors who are also personable is a rare thing.”

Al-Omar said the surgery went well without any issues or complications.

“I am very excited that we now have a dedicated WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital so we can help and serve our patients in the best way,” he said, adding that the success of the procedure was the result of a team effort. “It’s about the entire team that worked with us on this first case and all the people who made this dream of a new Hospital come true.”

John Lubicky, M.D., chief of Pediatric Orthopaedics, echoed Al-Omar’s excitement for the building and the bigger operating rooms housed within it.

“This is a monumental day. This is the opening of the Children’s Hospital that’s been planned for a very long time,” Dr. Lubicky said. “The orthopaedic surgery operating room is so much better than what we had in the other building. It’s bigger, brighter, and has a lot more gizmos in the room. It’s pretty nice.”

Lubicky, who performed the state’s first robotic pediatric spinal surgery in 2018 and has introduced other new orthopaedic technologies and treatments to WVU Medicine Children’s, said the opening of the Hospital will allow for even more innovation.

“We’ve recently introduced some things that we weren’t offering before,” he said, “and we will be doing more.”