Years ago I was listening to a radiothon for Seattle Children’s Hospital while driving in my car. I was so moved by the patients’ stories of hope and healing, I had to pull into a parking lot because I was crying so hard. I called the number and made a donation – never dreaming that I would have more than a “goodwill” relationship with the hospital.
Fast forward to 2012.
I heard that same radiothon in the car. My eyes swelled with tears and my throat tightened, this time because my newborn son was one of those patients in a bed at Children’s.
My name is Breanna Borgen. They say life can turn on a dime and that was certainly true for my husband, Erik, and me.
Early in our first pregnancy all seemed to be going well when I very unexpectedly went into labor at 25 weeks. Though my doctors did everything they could to stop my delivery, our son Benson was born almost four months early on Sept. 11, 2011, at the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC). He weighed a pound and a half, measured 11 inches long and immediately received a breathing tube because he couldn’t breathe on his own.
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In honor of World Prematurity Day this Sunday, Nov. 17, Jennifer Sinconis shares her twin boys’ incredible struggle and journey after being born at just 24 weeks, each weighing only about a pound.
I remember finding out I was pregnant. My husband and I had just started trying, and we couldn’t have been happier. I also remember the shock when I found out I was carrying twins – identical twin boys. My pregnancy was pretty easy and uneventful. I was young and healthy, so we really didn’t have any major concerns. Looking back, that shows exactly how naïve I was of the potential complications that can come during a pregnancy.
The day that I hit 24 weeks I ended up being rushed to the ER. My placenta had detached, I was hemorrhaging and my boys were on their way. The doctors tried unsuccessfully to stop the labor. I remember asking my OB-GYN what this meant. What would happen if my children were born this early? His response was simply, “It’s not good.”
Born 16 weeks premature, Aidan weighed 1 pound, 14 ounces and Ethan weighed 1 pound, 6 ounces. Neither one was breathing when they were born. The doctors were able to resuscitate Aidan fairly quickly, but Ethan took about five minutes. His throat was so tiny that they had a hard time getting the ventilator tube in.
My world shattered. I was not able to move after my emergency C-section, and it was over 24 hours before I was allowed to see my boys. I remember the panic in my mom’s face that evening – she was sure that I would miss the opportunity to see them alive.
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Photo courtesy of Soulumination
Tuesday was a day that the Olivera family will never forget – It was a beautiful day of unity, celebration and joy. It was a bright spot in what has been one of the most challenging years of their lives.
Oct. 22 was the day that Saul and Alejandra Olivera were finally able to get married after three years of being engaged. “Making it official” was something they were very excited to do and something their 9-year-old daughter, Miranda, had wished for.
From a limo, cake, caterer and photographer, to a chocolate fountain (the most important element for Miranda) – the big day was complete. And it all became a reality, within one week’s time, thanks to three members of Miranda’s cancer care team at Seattle Children’s who made it happen with the help of the community.
“It was the most amazing day and we couldn’t have asked for anything more,” said Alejandra. “Everything was perfect and Miranda was so happy to be there and be a part of the celebration.”
Now, this wasn’t just any wedding – it was extraordinary. And in order to understand its significance, it’s important to understand the family’s journey, as well as the people that were behind the important day.
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During a recent visit to Seattle Children’s, 7-year-old Landon Browne dressed up as his favorite surgeon, Jay Rubinstein, to honor and celebrate him at this Halloween time of year. We suspect you saw the related media coverage, and wanted to share more about Landon, who has captured the public’s interest.
There are landmark moments in every child’s life that a parent likes to document. The first time he rolls over, crawls, stands and walks are among the moments worth noting. But for Alysia and Brendan Browne, the moments they got really excited about for their son, Landon, relate to his hearing.
“When he said, ‘butter’ for the first time, I threw open the front door and yelled, ‘He said, butter!” The neighbors probably thought I was crazy,” Alysia said, with a smile.
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Transitions are a part of life. Becoming more independent, turning 18 years old, planning for college – these are transitions every teenager must face. It’s the gray area between adolescence and adulthood, a time when most teenagers step out from the shadows of their parents and head into the world in search of self-sufficiency. For some, however, this can be daunting, especially when it comes to taking ownership of one’s own health.
For a group of 11 teenagers at Seattle Children’s Hospital who have all at one time or another had a heart transplant, their transition means taking a more hands on approach to their personal health.
They are now old enough to be the drivers of their own healthcare decisions and they are old enough to transition out of Children’s to continue care at adult institutions. Read full post »