Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Twins, Twins And More Twins

Christopher&Joseph at home for the first time after 5 months in hospital

We are the Healy family of 15. We are Kit and Siobhan and we are raising 13 children, including 3 sets of twins. Two of our sets of twins are identical boys. Kit is from Ireland and Siobhan is from Germany. Our children's names and ages are:
Benjamin, 16
Aquila, 14
Diego, 13
RicCardo, 12
Olivia, 11
Keanu, 9
Sean&Saoirse, 6
Schwanhilde, 3
Heidi&Rosi, 2
Christopher&Joseph, 5 months
We all live in our dreamhouse in Maryland. Our family was recently filmed for an hour-long program on the Discovery Health Channel. The next airing of the show called "Twins Twins & More Twins" will be on the 24th of January 2007 at 1 PM ET/PT. Our family hobbies include playing music, travelling across the country and overseas and visiting German and Irish establishments and social events on a regular basis.

Our last set of twins, Christy&Joey, was afflicted with a disease of the monochorionic placenta, called twin-twin-transfusion-syndrome or TTTS, unique to identical twin pregnancies.
Our baby Christy was near death due to heart failure from the overload of blood that his brother Joey "transfused" into him through the placenta.
Joey was severely anemic because of the blood he lost to Christopher. The babies had to be born via c-section at only 24 weeks and 5 days.
They weighed 2 lbs. 4 oz. (Christy) and 1 lb. 9 oz. (Joey). After 5 months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), they finally came home to us right before Christmas.

Unfortunately, Joey, who had had a lot of infections at the NICU, is now back in the hospital because of another bout of what the doctors think might be pneumonia.

Little Joe even had a PDA ligation, which is surgery on his heart, when he was only 6 weeks old and he didn't even weigh 3 lbs. at the time.
Throughout our 5 month ordeal with having our babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, we travelled at least once a day to visit the babies. Christy spent 140 days at the NICU and Joey 151. Now, after yet another setback, we are still sticking together as a family.

Special Thanks to all the people involved in our care during the TTTS pregnancy and after:

My Mom who flew over from Germany to help out. My Dad who supported her and us emotionally. My brother Julian. My perinatologists Dr. Arrabal, Dr. Manley, Dr. Sholes-Douglas, my OB/GYNs Dr. Luna-Hopkins, Dr. Farrior, our neonatologists Dr. O'Brien, Dr. Partyka, Dr. Kanter, Dr. Villamizal, Dr. Kiersen, cardiac surgeon Dr. Vircella, pediatricians Dr. Lunis, Dr. Kleid, ultrasound technician Melinda and the entire staff, nurses Abby, Michele, Lisa, Janice, Shelley, Linda, Brenda, Laurie and so many more.

Additionally, we would like to thank TTTS expert and pioneer in FLOC (fetoscopic laser occlusion surgery), Dr. Julian DeLia for his compassionate care for all TTTS afflicted parents who come to him for advice, even if they never become his patients ( and Mary, founder of the TTTS Foundation (