Fauna’s Story: 23 week triplets and Necrotizing Enterocolitis

By Fauna Osborne, NEC Society Leadership Committee member

On April 3, 2012 our lives changed forever. I was 23 weeks 2 days pregnant and delivered triplets. Viability for survival is generally understood to start at 24 weeks. This is where our story of love, grief, hope and miracles begins.

Fauna holding her girls

Fauna holding her girls

Kylee Faith was born at 8:44am, Trinity May at 8:45am and Cayden George at 8:46am.  It was an organized chaos in the operating room. There were about twenty plus medical staff to help with the delivery. Each one seemed so calm, yet both George and I looked like deer caught in the headlights. I had already been in the hospital for a month trying to keep the babies inside. My cervix had disappeared but medical technology and an amazing OBGYN gave our babies a small chance of survival.

Amazingly, all three were breathing at delivery and so they were rushed upstairs to the NICU. Both George and I were in shock. Our lives were suddenly spinning out of control. Or whatever control we thought we had. We had been trying unsuccessfully for nine years to get pregnant and wondered why something like this would happen to a couple like us. But we did not have time to think about ourselves as we had three children that were fighting for their lives.

No one really can relate to a child or children in the NICU unless they have had the experience themselves. When we walked into our children’s room we heard constant beeps of heart monitors, the banging of oscillators and witnessed IV’s in each of their arms, feet, and even head. George is a surveyor and I am a counselor.  Both of us are very good at our jobs, however we felt completely helpless in this situation.

All three triplets were very sick, however Cayden had the longest list of problems. Heart, intestines, lungs and brain.  You name it – he had it.

Cayden George

Cayden George

Miraculously, Cayden fought and fought. Whenever the doctors thought he was going to die, he would do a complete 180 and improve greatly. We went through this for a few weeks.

Then on Wednesday, Cayden looked pretty bad. He not only had brain bleeds, which we were willing to accept, but he was also diagnosed with NEC – Necrotizing Enterocolitis. Surgeries can repair some cases, however, in our minds, Cayden was too weak. Surgery was not even considered at this point.

Fast forward to Thursday morning, May 17, 2013.  Tests were done. It did not look good. Poor Cayden’s bowels were blocked and everything looked grim. The doctors presented us with a few scenarios but ultimately it came down to quality of life. We decided to pull support.

Our grieving process, even though difficult, has been easier than most because of the circumstances: we were able to spend 44 days with our son, we were with a room full of loving individuals and we knew deep down that it was the right thing to do.  So on May 17, 2012, Cayden George passed away due to complications from NEC. One day before George’s birthday.

Fauna and her family today

Fauna and her family today

This story ends on a happy note though. Trinity and Kylee are healthy three year olds with no medications or support. This is a true miracle. These little girls are surviving 23 week triplets.

You can watch a video of this family’s story here.

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