Twins born as micro-preemies thriving ahead of 10th birthday
Family reflects on St. Joseph’s NyICU experience on World Prematurity Day
(PHOENIX, Ariz. – Nov. 17, 2021) – Fourth graders Robinson and Harper Basaldu are looking forward to celebrating their 10th birthday in April, a milestone their mother is in awe that they’re reaching after her twins were born weighing just over a pound each at 23 weeks gestation at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. On World Prematurity Day, the Basaldu family is reflecting on the past decade and their incredible journey through St. Joseph’s renowned nursery intensive care unit (NyICU) in an effort to give other families hope for the future.
“I still get so emotional when I look back on our NyICU experience,” said Lori Kometer, the twin’s mother. “I just can’t believe these nurses and doctors can help grow these babies outside the womb. It’s just incredible.”
Today, Robinson and Harper are thriving and happy kids who love school and spending time with their friends and family. Harper, who was named after famed author Harper Lee, loves lacing up her cleats and hitting the soccer field. Robinson, whose namesake is after baseball legend Jackie Robinson, enjoys swimming and spending time outdoors.
“It’s hard to believe that my active kids once weighed just over one pound each,” said Lori. “I’m so proud of my miracle micro-preemies. They are so strong and have overcome so much.”
Robinson and Harper were born on April 12, 2012, just weeks after their mother was diagnosed with a subchorionic hemorrhage, which is a type of blood clot found in the womb during pregnancy. Although this condition usually goes away within the first trimester, Lori’s hemorrhage grew along with her babies and led to the twins being born more than 4 months premature.
St. Joseph’s Level III NyICU treats some of the most severely ill and premature babies throughout the country, especially the Southwest. Robinson and Harper were considered micro-preemies, which is a term used for babies who are born before the 26th week of pregnancy and weigh less
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than two pounds. During the family’s three month NyICU journey, the NyICU team taught Lori and Pete, the twins’ parents, the special ways to hold their babies and eventually change diapers the size of monopoly money.
“To this day, we still stay connected with the twins’ primary nurses who literally helped cuddle them back to life,” said Lori. “We consider Robinson and Harper’s NyICU nurses miracle workers.”
“Our NyICU team goes above and beyond to provide expert and individualized care to all babies in need of a little extra support after birth,” said Zoe Coleman, clinical manager of St. Joseph’s NyICU. “One of the best parts of our job is to see how far these children have come years later. I can’t put into words how rewarding it is to watch our patients succeed in life beyond in the NyICU.”
Robinson and Harper were discharged from St. Joseph’s in June and July of 2012. Over the years, the twins continue to persevere and show their strength every day – a quality their mom says they developed during the NyICU journey at St. Joseph’s.
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Publish date:Wednesday, November 17, 2021