Fretz Wins Free Birth Delivery at ARH Co-Sponsored Maternity Fair


Anticipating the birth of a child is an exciting time for couples. While many are focused on baby showers and colors for the nursery, others are concerned about medical expenses.

Autumn Fretz, who was expecting her second son in less than two weeks, was joyful and trusting God for help with medical expenses. Through family and friends, Fretz heard about a Maternity Fair in Hazard, Ky., co-sponsored by Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) and Primary Care Center of Eastern Kentucky, with a grand prize drawing for a free birth delivery at an ARH hospital. Fretz went to the event with her two-year-old son Jacob in a stroller, to register for the grand prize because she felt God was leading her there.

Fretz and her husband Jonathan serve as full-time missionaries with Camp Nathanael and do not have conventional medical insurance. They fall into the category of uninsured. However, they participate in a medical needs share program with Samaritan Ministries. Through this organization, others from all over America can send shares to cover participants’ medical bills. Not only does this organization assist with needed medical services, but whenever you call for assistance, someone actually prays with you over the phone about your medical situation.

“In the book of Matthew, we are told to seek the Lord and he will supply all your needs,” shared Fretz. “That’s what I did. I prayed for help and I received a peace that God was working everything out for me and my family.”

According to Fretz, while she was attending the Maternity Fair, she witnessed God’s amazing plan for her when her name was drawn for the grand prize of a free birth delivery through ARH.

“At first I was in shock when I heard my name and then it was like ‘Wow’ God is showing me his power and taking care of me just like he said he would,” Fretz expressed.

Not only did Fretz win a free birth delivery, she was able to deliver Baby Andrew 10 days later at Whitesburg ARH Hospital where she had delivered her first son Jacob.

“I had a great experience delivering Jacob at Whitesburg ARH, and I wanted to deliver Andrew there as well,” noted Fretz. “You can’t find any better OB nurses and Dr. Katrina Slone is one of the best OB doctors in Eastern Kentucky!”

According to Fretz when Baby Andrew was born at Whitesburg ARH, it was another great experience. “I delivered Andrew naturally with the help of my favorite OB doctor Katrina Slone, top-notch OB nurses and midwife Kristin Smith as well as my wonderful sister and labor coach Chelsea,” explained Fretz. “They all took excellent care of me and Andrew. Nurse Arlena West, who has worked at Whitesburg ARH for 27 years, had a unique way of calming me with her soft-spoken voice, and I truly appreciate all she did for me. Andrew was so eager to come into this world. I only had to push for what seemed like a short time and there he was—a beautiful boy, weighing five pounds and 13 ounces and measuring 20 inches long.”

Fretz said she had tried to thank everyone at Whitesburg ARH Hospital, including Dena Sparkman, community CEO, for their kindness, compassion and the excellent care she and Andrew received.

“I sincerely appreciate every act of kindness toward me and my family and the excellent care I received while I was at Whitesburg ARH,” expressed Fretz. “I also want to thank Lee Ann McIntyre, who co-sponsored the Maternity Fair and provided the free delivery gift from ARH as the grand prize.”

Fretz summed up her amazing experience: “God is so good, and I was humbled to win the ARH grand prize,” shared Fretz. “In my heart I know it was a gift from God, because His fingerprints were all over it.”

Photo: Dena Sparkman, Community CEO at Whitesburg ARH Hospital shares in the joy of Jonathan and Autumn Fretz, son Jacob and newborn Andrew.


Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH), ranked as one of the Top 10 Employers in Kentucky by Forbes Magazine, is a not-for-profit health system operating 13 hospitals in Barbourville, Hazard, Harlan, Hyden, Martin, McDowell, Middlesboro, Prestonsburg, West Liberty, Whitesburg and South Williamson in Kentucky and Beckley and Hinton in West Virginia, as well as multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, home medical equipment stores and retail pharmacies. ARH employs more than 5,000 people with an annual payroll and benefits of $330 million generated into our local economies. ARH also has a network of more than 600 active and courtesy medical staff members. ARH is the largest provider of care and single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third largest private employer in southern West Virginia, and is consistently recognized for its medical excellence.

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