Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Healthwatch Spring 2008
Neonatal Intensive Care Saves Twin Preemies
Weighing Less Than Two Pounds at Birth, the Brothers Are Now Thriving
Many people live their lives without experiencing a miracle, but I experience two miracles every day," says Laura.
She and her husband Howard are the proud parents of Asher and Jess, who were born 15 weeks prematurely at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital on May 12, 2004.
Today the preemies are so healthy that it's hard to believe that between them, they have gone through two heart operations, two brain operations, one lung operation, one hernia, one kidney stone and one eye operation.
"For the 106 days my sons were in the neonatal intensive care unit, I was by their side 10 to 12 hours a day," she says. "If it weren't for this hospital, they wouldn't have survived."
Sophisticated Care for Preemies
Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital is one of only a few hospitals in the state to provide Level III neonatal care, the highest level of care for critically ill or premature babies.
With a wide variety of support services and a family-centered approach to care, the hospital's staff provides education and advice for new parents, including parents of babies with special needs.
"From those first critical days, they taught us how to be a parent because no one is prepared to be a parent for babies like mine, who weighed less than two pounds," says Laura.
"What I remember most about Laura and Howard is their degree of involvement in every aspect of the boys' medical care and decision-making. This was truly a team effort between the medical professionals and parents. It also highlights how important the post-discharge care and environment are to optimizing the final outcome of at-risk preemies. Hats off to the job these and other dedicated parents have done," says Lester McIntyre, MD, a neonatologist on the medical staff of Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, Memorial Hospital West and Memorial Hospital Miramar.
Now approaching their 4th birthday, the twins have a bright future. Even Asher, who has cerebral palsy, has exceeded all expectations for developmental milestones like walking and talking.
"Everyone comments on how happy the boys are," says Laura. "I believe that if it wasn't for the experience and expertise of the entire Neonatal Intensive Care Unit team, that the outcome may have been very different for our entire family."
To find a Memorial physician who is committed to patient- and family-centered care, call Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Physician Referral Service toll-free at (866) JDCH-DOC. We're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.