Younger Family's Story

James and Cole Younger were welcomed into the world on Oct. 9, 2010, at 25 weeks, 5 days or about 14 weeks early.  Their mom, Heather, arrived at the hospital on Oct. 8 with a little blood and fluid and was monitored closely. The doctors thought they could keep her stable in the hospital for the next eight weeks or so until she could deliver. She was given some medications to help her and the babies should they come early. Then, 30 hours later, the amniotic sack decided to break, and Mom was rushed into emergency surgery. James arrived at 2:08 p.m. and gave a little squeak as they rushed him to the team of doctors and nurses who would check out all his vitals. Cole was in prime form already, as he became a little shy, and decided to turn sideways as the doctors went to get him out. However, with a little coaxing, he arrived at 2:11 p.m. and was rushed to his own team of caregivers.

Because they were born at such a young age, James and Cole found life on the outside to be challenging. They were very sensitive to light, sound, touch, and smell. They were on ventilators to help them breathe and were monitored closely. They underwent many procedures including heart surgery, laser eye surgery, a broken femur and 15 blood transfusions.  They spent 96 days in the Bryan NICU and in Omaha at Children’s before heading home.

Now in elementary school, the boys are doing amazingly well as today. James continues with physical and occupational therapy, according to their parents Erik and Heather. They are best friends, laughing at each other. Cole is active with soccer, tennis and swimming while James is fascinated with movies, tablets and swimming. “The advances in neonatal care that brought our boys to the health they enjoy today are largely due to the work of the March of Dimes. This work is not done yet, with over 500 active research projects and advances being made to help prevent prematurity and birth defects all the time. The need for blood donors is also near and dear as these boys would not be here today if not for generous blood donors who gave them life through their 15 blood transfusions at such a young age."

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