Having a good relationship with your physician is an important part of staying healthy. Following a serious health scare, one South Arkansas couple has developed such a close connection to JRMC OB-GYN and Chief Medical Officer, Reid Pierce, that they have traveled to receive care from his clinic and named both their children after him.
Tori Figg is a high school teacher, and her husband, Trent, is a football coach. In 2014, the couple moved to Magnolia, Arkansas from Phoenix, Arizona. “I was in my third trimester of pregnancy with my first child, and I was very nervous about looking for a new OB-GYN,” Tori remembered. A friend recommended Dr. Pierce, who was practicing in Magnolia at the time, and Tori and Trent were instantly impressed with the time he spent getting to know them and talking about their childbirth preferences.
When it was time for their son to be born on September 1st of 2014, everything was fine until the epidural was administered, and some of the medication got into Tori’s spinal fluid. She quickly went into cardiac arrest. “The funny thing is that Dr. Pierce isn’t always at the hospital at that point, but he had decided to stay in the nurse’s station to monitor the baby’s heartbeat,” Tori said. “He was getting up to make a recommendation to one of my nurses, and a nurse ran in and told him he was needed. That’s when they called a code blue on me.”
While the code blue team was working to resuscitate Tori, Dr. Pierce grabbed a scalpel and performed an emergency c-section, delivering a healthy baby boy. Tori spent two days in ICU and two days on the maternity floor but ultimately recovered with no lasting side effects. “It was quite a while before anyone told me everything that happened,” Tori said. “Dr. Pierce sat with me and held my hand and answered all my questions.” She and Trent were so relieved and grateful following the near miss that they named their son Titus Reid.
The Figgs eventually moved to Kansas City for another football job, and Tori soon became pregnant again. “I was an absolute disaster that first trimester,” Tori says. “I was really sick, but to be completely honest, I think I was also anxiety ridden after what happened with the last delivery.” Tori had spoken with Dr. Pierce about her fears, and he offered to consult with her new OB-GYN. However, during a trip to Magnolia for the 2017 holidays, Trent was offered a new coaching job in Magnolia, and Tori immediately texted Dr. Pierce. “I think the text said ‘Dreams really do come true,’” she laughed. By this time, Dr. Pierce had moved back to Pine Bluff to practice, but Tori was adamant that he deliver her second child.
Tori was still frightened about having another epidural, so Dr. Pierce arranged a tour of the maternal/child area, including a visit with an anesthesiologist to learn about epidurals and how they are supposed to work. On July 20, 2017, the Figgs welcomed another son, this time with no problems. Just like their first child, his name pays tribute to the doctor who delivered him – Thomas Pierce.
Now the Figgs are moving to Missouri, and while Dr. Pierce will probably never deliver any more children for them, their bond is unbreakable. “He’s been more than a doctor,” Tori said, before leaving for dinner with Dr. Pierce and his wife. “I never want him to forget how important he was to us. “