Healthy, Happy 3rd Birthday for Kate and Ben!

Problems:      Micro-preemies, bowel perforation, brain bleeds

Solutions:      Exquisite care, corrective bowel surgery, Physical and occupational therapy

Results:        Healthy and Happy 3rd Birthday to Kate and Ben!

Extra Outcome: Running Miles for Preemies!

 

My twins recently turned 3 years old.  They are healthy, happy, and full of life. That said, I will never forget how close we came to losing them both. 

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Ben & Kate were born unexpectedly in July 2015 at 23 weeks, 2 days gestation. They weighed 1 lb 7 oz. and 1 lb 2 oz. respectively.  Both kids spent nearly 5 months in the NICU at Children’s hospital in Minneapolis.  Both kids required a pediatric cardiovascular surgeon to close a blood vessel which normally closes on its own, but can cause serious complications when it remains open in premature babies. Both babies required prolonged time on a ventilator and round the clock monitoring and medical care. Both sustained brain bleeds, common in micro premature birth, which would impact their cognitive and gross motor capabilities. Kate suffered a perforation of her intestine within her first week of life. Surgeons performed miracles to save her, repaired it twice more and, ultimately, reattached her months later.  Due to these procedures Kate went long stretches without food. She also had a serious infection and stopped breathing completely after her final surgery.  Laser eye surgery for both kids later almost seemed like a “minor” event in comparison.

          Kate, big brother Will and Ben! 

In the ensuing years, we continue to receive incredible care from physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, pulmonologists, and eye doctors to name just a few people on our team.  Thanks to an extensive medical team, the twins have recently celebrated a rambunctious 3rd birthday!

When we wanted to give back after all the support and kindness we received, we heard about the work Dr. Jeanne Mrozek was doing at the Minnesota Neonatal Foundation.    

It was important for Sarah and I to direct funds to the neonatal organizations that saved and supported our twins.
— Paul - the twins' Dad

Shortly after learning about Dr. Mrozek’s vision, I decided to join the Board of Directors to bring a perspective as a parent of NICU graduates.  The goal of the foundation is to heighten support for the families impacted by premature births as well as the highly specialized nursing teams that care for them.  In addition, we help connect current and past NICU families to an organization that was created especially for them.

Ever on the lookout for ways to promote and support the Foundation's work, I am raising sponsorship dollars from friends, family and NICU-interested individuals by running a marathon.

Why a marathon? 

Jogging/running has been my morning motivator for several years.  Over the past 20+ years I have run 13 marathons.  One of the things that is most apparent when your child/children are in the NICU is that your health focus as a parent falls far down the list of priorities.  As Ben & Kate continued to make progress both my wife, Sarah, and I wanted to make a conscious effort to improve our own health.  Over time this led me to consider whether I had one more marathon in me…

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As Ben & Kate continued to make progress both my wife, Sarah, and I wanted to make a conscious effort to improve our own health.  Over time this led me to consider whether I had one more marathon in me…

So, with that backdrop, I have committed to run the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday, October 7, 2018.  Never before have I run for a charitable cause.  After all that we’ve been through, and how fortunate we have been, I would like to dedicate this race to help support the many families who are, and will be, battling through the toughest tests of their lives.

Please support me and the Minnesota Neonatal Foundation as I prepare for this race.  I sincerely appreciate your consideration. Your contribution and support will keep pushing me as I train for the best race of my life.

Check out my Miles for Preemies! donation page.