CLEVELAND (WJW) – A can of pop, a key chain, a hamster and a bowl of cereal each weigh 12 ounces.
This is Kimyah Jackson’s weight when she was born at the Cleveland Clinic. His brother DJ was only 3 ounces heavier, according to hospital spokeswoman Jenna Homrock.
“There was only a 10 to 20 percent chance they would survive and developmental delays were possible,” Homrock said. “At just 22 weeks, they became the youngest surviving twins born at the Cleveland Clinic.”
After their mother, Kimberly Thomas, delivered them, the babies had to be resuscitated and intubated. “Kimberly spent day and night in the NICU, unable to hold them for a month because their skin was too fragile,” Homrock added.
After 138 consecutive days of NICU care, Kimyah and DJ were allowed to return home to their parents Kimberly and Damante Jackson.
Caregivers at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital held a graduation ceremony for the twins, complete with caps and gowns. The photos show the babies smiling and looking at each other after their four-and-a-half month stay in hospital.
“It will be a few more years before doctors can determine whether babies will experience developmental delays,” Holbrook said. Brother and sister are about to celebrate their first birthday. “The twins continue to reach their developmental milestones, gaining strength through their therapy sessions and exceeding their expectations,” she added.
“Along with medical advances in the care of premature babies, research shows that centers that push the boundaries consistently achieve better outcomes,” said Firas Saker, MD, medical director of Cleveland Children’s Level III NICU. Clinic at Hillcrest Hospital.
“If you had asked me 10 years ago, resuscitation at less than 24 weeks gestation would not have been possible without the advanced technology and skills we have today. We have a great team that has been able to make enormous progress.
Kimberly said she was grateful to the care team who helped her babies come home.
“A lot of doctors and nurses came. Even though it’s their job, a lot of them have bonded with Kimyah and DJ,” Kimberly said. “They’ve seen them from their most critical stages to where they are today. It was their (the medical staff) time to spend time with them before Kimyah and DJ left the hospital.
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