How Do You Celebrate a Leap Year Birthday? Frogs and Chocolate Cake!
Tiny Preemie Twins Born on Different Days Celebrate Fourth Birthday with Medical Team that Saved Them
Berkeley, Calif. –Twins Miles and Walter Erickson, born at 26 weeks and weighing barely two pounds each, arrived 11 minutes apart on different days — Feb. 28 and 29 (Leap Day), 2016. At a special leapfrog-themed birthday party and reunion, the twins and their family today celebrated their first Leap Day and fourth birthday with the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) medical team who cared for them at Sutter’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.
Parents Summer and Ryan Erickson say they are forever grateful for the care their boys received from the Alta Bates Summit NICU doctors, nurses and staff for the first 69 days of their lives. When the tiny twins were born, the Oakland residents feared they might not survive.
Four years ago, Summer Erickson checked into Alta Bates Summit 14 weeks before her due date expecting to spend the rest of her pregnancy on precautionary bedrest. Instead, she went into preterm labor. After the birth, the Labor and Delivery staff immediately whisked the tiny preemies to the Level III NICU, where Miles and Walter spent the next 69 days.
“You go through every emotion you can imagine,” remembers Summer Erikson, “Not only were the babies fighting little warriors, but the nurses, doctors and staff worked around the clock to fight for their health and survival.”
When the Ericksons finally got the green light to bring Miles and Walter home, they took advantage of Alta Bates Summit’s NICU Post-Discharge Program, a series of classes designed for parents of preemies. This philanthropically funded program provides education and a compassionate support network during the critical transition period from NICU to home, and often for years afterward. The classes taught the Ericksons how to monitor their sons’ diet and watch for irregular breathing. But most of all, it gave them confidence for the task ahead. Miles and Walter, each 5 pounds at the time of discharge, were ready to go home.
Happy fourth birthday, Miles and Walter!