Cruisers’ art show helps Scripps’ high-risk pregnancies

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Lauren, Rory and Ronan Boyd

Rory and Lauren Boyd celebrated their son Ronan’s second birthday earlier this year. But early in her pregnancy, the expecting couple had a frightening moment. At one of their first visits for bloodwork, a spina bifida test on their unborn child came back positive. After what seemed forever for the couple, they found out that the test result was a false positive. Rory Boyd said while waiting, he remembers this as one of the most stressful times in his life.

“We got the results just a couple of days before my birthday,” said Rory Boyd. “I have been in some pretty bad motorcycle crashes and suffered some pretty terrible injuries, but that hurt me the most more than anything I have ever experienced. I stayed up most of the night and puked about every five minutes just thinking something may be wrong with him.”

Rory Boyd said before they found out that the test was a false positive, they went to genetic counseling, accepted that it was going to be and began finding ways to have early intervention for Ronan.

Rory Boyd was born in Santee. The family lives in Lakeside, and he works as manager of Scripps Health’s access quality program.

Growing up on motorcycles since he was five, the Grossmont High School Graduate spent much of his youth as a competitive rider, and still enjoys street riding to this day. He found a way to give back with an art show to benefit Scripps Health’s high-risk pregnancy program.

Utilizing his love of motorcycles and those in his riding community, he is holding the American Motorhead Motorcycle Art Show July 30 at Prohibition Brewing Co. in Vista. This event is sponsored by Law Tigers Motorcycle Lawyers and Prohibition Brewing. Proceeds will benefit equipment for Scripps Health’s perinatology program for women experiencing high-risk pregnancies.

Boyd said this is a family-friendly event, great to bring kids to, and that he is looking forward to holding the event.

“A lot of the reason that I wanted to do this is because in that moment, you feel very alone,” he said. “You feel isolated. You feel like there is nothing that you can do. The more folks talk about it. Know that it is okay to not be okay. That is how we get more resources, and more folks feeling better with early intervention because these little people are our future.”

High-risk pregnancies are on the rise in the U.S., and a specialized medical program at Scripps Health is dedicated to helping vulnerable women and babies. A recent national report shows pregnancy complications increased by 15.4% between 2014 and 2018, while childbirth complications rose by 14.2%.

Blue Cross Blue Shield looked at 1.8 million pregnancies and found significant increases.

Type 2 diabetes in pregnant women rose by 28$, and other issues like high blood pressure, diagnosed obesity, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes are on the rise.

Dr. Sean Daneshmand, an expert on complex pregnancies and medical director of the Scripps Clinic perinatology program said Rory is an employee of Scripps, but also a patient.

“Not every patient that experiences a high-risk pregnancy ends up devoting so much time and energy to actually raise funds for institutions like ours,” he said. “We are extremely grateful. When people like Rory and his friends step up and help us with our patients in need, this is something Scripps relies on. Community generosity. It is one of the ways to continuously enhance our capabilities.”

Daneshmand said it is multifaceted on why high-risk pregnancies are on the rise, but there is an increase of people with obesity, chronic hypertension, diabetes, but Scripps knows, something must be done.

“Unfortunately, we are not very preventative in this country,” he said. “Medicine is very reactionary. While we are seeing increases in these chronic health conditions, unfortunately, what comes with that is comorbidities during pregnancy.”

Daneshmand said many of these problems are happening before pregnancy, which makes pregnancy much more challenging to manage. As the need to manage these high-risk pregnancies increases, Scripps Clinic has expanded its program to “help these mommies and their babies.” “We have done several things, but we need to do much more,” he said.

In 2018 Scripps established its comprehensive, multidisciplinary perinatology program that offers care to high-risk pregnant women at its hospitals, outpatient facilities and through telehealth. The program is anchored by a team of maternal fetal medicine specialists who closely monitor patients and coordinate care with a deep network of medical specialists and subspecialists. Perinatology is a medical specialty within OBGYN that focuses on the care of women and babies who have a higher risk of complications in pregnancy.

“We established a diabetes and pregnancy program, an integrated care team model that includes high-risk doctors, obstetric doctors, and with our endocrinology doctors, developing an expert team that work in the field, but working collaboratively to make sure we are managing these patients with diabetes the best way possible,” he said.

Daneshmand said the only way to “make a dent” in high risk pregnancies is the ability to preconceptual counseling for subsequent pregnancies.

“An area where we can have the most amount of impact is in the preconception period,” he said.

Daneshmand said Scripps is working with the fetal heart program, as cardiovascular disease is on the rise, they are working with cardiologists, creating a collaborative team to ensure that all women in San Diego County are getting the best care that they need. He said that this creates an atmosphere that everyone that a woman sees during pregnancy is part of her care management team, not just another doctor or specialist.

Creating an extensive regional network of specialists and subspecialists that gives expecting mothers access to a comprehensive array of services. Daneshmand said this includes its relationship with Rady Children’s Hospital, which has a joint venture with their neonatal intensive care units at all four delivering hospitals at Scripps.

“Another thing that is unique with what Scripps has done is adding a complex care coordinator,” he said. “This is known as a patient navigator. When a woman gets pregnant, she wishes nothing but the best for her unborn child. The minute that they hear that baby’s heartbeat, or see that positive pregnancy test, they will do anything for that child. So, no one wants to ever hear that their baby has an abnormality, or that they are facing a complication. One of the missing components in these high-risk pregnancies is a patient comes in and sees us. We give them a bad diagnosis, like the baby’s heart, and the patient goes home and looks to family, friends, internet to find answers. This individual oversees the patient’s care throughout the pregnancy.”

Dr Sean Daneshmand medical director of the Scripps Clinic Perinatology Program
Daneshmand said this “navigator” works with the doctors and patients to ensure that everything is covered, and that it has made a tremendous impact on its patient’s care, experience, and mental health.

“But if you show patients that we care, we are respectful to them, then patients come back because they know this is a group of individuals that truly care about their pregnancy,” he said.

The fundraiser for Scripps is open to the public and will feature motorcycle-themed works of art for sale by painters, leather designers, illustrators and other artists. Local vendors are donating a variety of prizes for raffle drawings, and artists will donate their time to produce custom skateboard decks for a silent auction.

“I am really excited about it,” said Boyd. “It is a group of likeminded people who are amazing kindhearted people. All of them are artists or motorcycle enthusiasts. Between the collective bunch, they get together for things like this. It is some of the best painting, leatherwork, digital artwork and design, I think in San Diego.”

Boyd said getting together with these people for such a great cause, and that the proceeds are going to something that means so much to him and other people, he is extremely excited and said there will be “tons of good stuff” there and will make for a genuinely enjoyable time for all.

“One of my good friends, AJ Newsom from Red Beard Leather will be there, and he did a custom wallet for the event,” he said. “His wallets do not come under $350. I unfortunately know this because I have purchased two of them. Rick Ortiz from American Motorhead did some digital designs as well. I am going to paint a skateboard, so there will be a few one-of one skateboards. It is artwork that otherwise would be hard to get or waiting on a very long waiting list to get, unique, and you cannot recreate.”

The American Motorhead Motorcycle Art Show will be held Saturday, July 30 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Prohibition Brewing Co., at 2004 East Vista Way in Vista, CA. The show is open to the public.

Cruisers’ art show helps Scripps’ high-risk pregnancies