Children's Care Fund Testimonial
Norah and Etta's Mother, Kirsten
Norah and Etta are about to celebrate their first birthday because of those who never gave up on them.
Aimee, grandmother of my two beautiful miracles, was a ferocious advocate for me and the twins during my difficult pregnancy. This is largely in part to her personal tragic loss of her own twins, Kaila and Kyle, some years ago. Out of this pain, Aimee decided to adopt her two girls, Maria and Kaitlin, and then later my brother, Alex. This experience also opened Aimee’s heart to pursue an incredible career in health care. Helping other families was paramount to her life. I myself found great joy in helping others through my work at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation at the start of my career. Aimee and I found common ground in our work and the personal stories we became a part of.
My husband and I were eager to start a family and were devastated when I suffered a miscarriage with my first pregnancy. We did not lose hope though and less than a year later, we were overjoyed to discover that we were pregnant with twins! This joy was to be short lived however, when early testing diagnosed me with twin-to-twin transfusion. This meant that my babies’ placentas were connected and that one twin was getting more nutrients than the other, but that neither would survive according to the doctor’s opinion. It was advised that we should terminate the pregnancy and try again. In our complete sorrow, we reached out to Aimee for advice due to her medical background and own personal experience. Knowing our heart’s desire to keep fighting for our babies, Aimee got to work becoming an expert almost overnight on the diagnosis by veraciously researching the topic until she found a study of a successful procedure that could save Norah and Etta’s lives. Her knowledge and experience helped us to make the informed decision to risk the surgery to give our girls a fighting chance. As a family, we fought through this and after the miraculous procedure I successfully carried these babies for 14+ more weeks, including the last 3 in the hospital. The Children’s Care Fund helped along the way with gift cards for unexpected expenses when I was unable to work during this time.
My little miracles are here today in large part due to medical research and the skill of physicians and the incredible care of our babies, born so tiny and vulnerable. After 2 months in the NICU, and a few scares and hospitalizations – Norah and Etta are doing great pushing their first birthday.
And Aimee is now working per diem in the UPMC Hamot NICU, passing it on.