Though they be but little, they are fierce. Kate and Alex, born premature in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at HCA’s Overland Park Medical Center, are overcoming every obstacle they have faced in their young lives. Today, we join together on World Prematurity Day to celebrate their fight, their family and the caregivers in our Midwest Health hospital who have committed to giving the twins and every preemie a fighting chance.
Born via surrogate to parents Chris and Sam, the twins, who arrived more than three months ahead of schedule, are the tiniest micro preemies delivered in the Overland Park NICU – the most advanced unit in the area. Kate weighed in at 1 pound, 4 ounces, while Alex tipped the scale at 1 pound, 6 ounces. At the time, both babies, the sickest in the NICU, experienced some health issues, like many others who are born before term: 39 weeks or later.
The twins had collapsed lungs, apnea (a sleep-related breathing disorder) and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), a condition that results in abnormal blood flow to the heart, to name a few concerns.
But thanks to willful parents, who uprooted their lives in New York City to help nurse their twins to health, and the specialized treatment provided at Overland Park Regional, the babies are now 33 weeks and thriving. Kate weighs 3 pounds, 15 ounces and Alex weighs 3 pounds, 3 ounces.
“I have been with them every day since birth,” said Sam Green, the twins’ father. “The NICU roller coaster is real. In the beginning, it was very low peaks and now that they’re older, it’s more stable.”
The dads are looking forward to encouraging other parents of preemies in the future…and bottle feeding their babies very soon.
Though they be but little, they are fierce.
Enjoy a few photos below of the twins, their first meeting via FaceTime (due to medical reasons they won’t be reunited until they go home), and the dads holding their babies. Also be sure to catch the local news story on the Overland Park Regional “miracle babies” here: KCTV5.
November is Prematurity Awareness Month. Premature birth is the leading cause of death in children under the age of five worldwide.