On January 7th, 2021, twins Silas and Adeline came into the world via an emergency c-section. Born at only 22 weeks, 6 days gestation, doctors gave them an 8% chance of survival, weighing only one pound each.
Parents, Eric and Kim, were warned of the potential for stillbirth, developmental delays, cerebral palsy, and generally a poor quality of life among many other scary scenarios. The tiny babies, with nearly translucent skin, fought through brain bleeds, dozens of blood, plasma and platelet transfusions, infections, bowel perforations, months on ventilators and breathing support and seven surgeries between the two of them. Like warriors, they fought for their lives in the NICU, finally coming home after 151 long days.
“Silas came home on oxygen and Adeline with a feeding tube,” said Kim. “It was great to have them home. We started seeing the Rainbows’ team for early intervention therapy shortly after.”
Rainbows’ physical therapist Jamee and early childhood special education teacher Leslie visit the family weekly, each bringing their own specific skill sets to help meet the needs of each child. Jamee said, “It’s been wonderful supporting this family. They guide our visits and that makes our services more meaningful to them.”
The family noticed vast improvements in both twins since they began working with Rainbows, “Our therapists helped us teach them to eat, roll over, sit up, crawl, stand, climb, talk, and even to walk,” said Eric. “Our twins are developing at different paces and they’ve customized therapy for each of them. That’s a real benefit.”
“Our Rainbows therapists have truly felt like allies in our parenting journey,” said Kim. “We’ve felt comfortable bringing to them any parenting obstacle we’ve faced, and they’re always willing to listen and to help us brainstorm solutions. They’ve made great suggestions, referred us to other wonderful resources, supplied us with therapy equipment, and they’ve given us great advice-both as knowledgeable therapists but also as parents themselves.”
“Kim and Eric bring their concerns to us, we come up with ideas or brainstorm for solutions and these parents run with it!” said Leslie, early childhood special education teacher and vision specialist. “Kim works all day with the therapy and strategies that we give to them. That is what coaching is all about!”
Kim says, “We feel confident in the knowledge we have been given and because of that we’re able to give our children customized in-home therapy every morning after breakfast, or in the evenings before bed.”
“Our hope is that we raise our children to be responsible, kind, God-fearing adults who love their families, have pride for their country, and who respect integrity, loyalty, and faith,” said Kim. “We hope that their prematurity will simply be a fact about them and that it won’t hold them back in any way.”
Eric and Kim are currently five months pregnant with their third baby, around the same gestation when they were rushed in for an emergency c-section with the twins. That realization has been both healing and astonishing for them, amazed by the knowledge and technology that kept their precious babies alive until they were strong enough to breathe and eat on their own. Both parents are continually thankful for the amazing doctors, nurses, friends and family, specialists, and Rainbows therapists who have walked with them through this crazy journey.
“Now, almost three years later, we have two healthy, happy toddlers who are meeting developmental milestones at their own individual paces, and we haven’t received any of the scary diagnoses we were warned about!” said Kim.
As their twins turn three and age out of Rainbows’ services, both parents feel confident they are able to continue the therapy and strategies that have brought them this far, and that is all thanks to the invaluable knowledge they have received from their amazing Rainbows therapists.