Walk­ing tall for pre­ma­ture ba­bies

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Lau­ren Pi­lat

Red­cliffe twins Olivia and Kyle are “mir­a­cle ba­bies” who were brought into the world at just 24 weeks old. Thanks to the doc­tors and nurses at King Ed­ward Memo­rial Hos­pi­tal, they are now healthy and happy 10-month-olds. Al­though un­able to walk on their own, they’ll be tak­ing part in Walk for Prems this month in South Perth, with their par­ents Ka­t­rina Prodger and Dave Kinder by their side.

WHAT should have been a joy­ous oc­ca­sion wel­com­ing their twins into the world be­came a ter­ri­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for Red­cliffe par­ents Ka­t­rina Prodger and Dave Kinder.

At 23 weeks preg­nant, Ms Prodger was ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal and eight days later, when it was “just con­sid­ered vi­able”, she gave birth to Olivia and Kyle.

Weigh­ing just 600 grams each, the pre­ma­ture ba­bies were rushed to the neona­tal in­ten­sive care unit (NICU) where they were treated by a team of physi­cians at King Ed­ward Hos­pi­tal.

It was not un­til hours later that the new par­ents got to see their pre­cious new­borns and were “stunned by how tiny and frag­ile” they were.

It’s that “ter­ri­fy­ing” ex­pe­ri­ence why Ms Prodger calls Olivia and Kyle her “mir­a­cle ba­bies”, be­cause thanks to doc­tors and nurses she has two healthy and happy 10-month-olds.

To mark how far the twins have come, and to sup­port other fam­i­lies with pre­ma­ture ba­bies, the fam­ily is tak­ing part in the Walk for Prems in South Perth this month to help raise funds for Life’s Lit­tle Trea­sures Foun­da­tion.

Ms Prodger said af­ter their “ter­ri­fy­ing, ex­tremely emo­tional and ex­haust­ing” ex­pe­ri­ence, they would do any­thing to help raise aware­ness and money for or­gan­i­sa­tions sup­port­ing pre­ma­ture ba­bies and their fam­i­lies.

“It was noth­ing like the birth ex­pe­ri­ence I had ex­pected and cer­tainly not how I thought I would view and touch my ba­bies for the first time, through a small win­dow in a plas­tic in­cu­ba­tor,” she said.

“I was able to hold them for the first time when they were seven days old, which is when it re­ally felt like they were ours.

“We saw a poster for the walk up in the par­ents’ room in the NICU when our ba­bies were only just born and straight away said ‘next year we’ll do that’.

“Here we are now about to take part and we have our happy and healthy 10month-old mir­a­cle ba­bies with us.”

Ms Prodger said they were lucky to have ac­cess to “amaz­ing tech­nol­ogy” that al­lowed Olivia and Kyle to not only sur­vive but thrive.

“The nurses and doc­tors at King Ed­ward were be­yond amaz­ing too; they were help­ful and sup­port­ive when we wanted in­for­ma­tion or had ques­tions, and took the time to get to know us,” she said.

“They gen­uinely cared for our ba­bies, which made it that lit­tle bit eas­ier to leave them when it was time to go home for the night.

“If do­ing some­thing as sim­ple as go­ing for a walk can raise more money and aware­ness to keep im­prove­ments de­vel­op­ing for fu­ture pre­ma­ture ba­bies to have an out­come like ours, it’s def­i­nitely worth be­ing in­volved.”

Pic­ture: David Baylis www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d487248

www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d487248 Pic­ture: David Baylis

Ka­t­rina Prodger and Dave Kinder with their twins Olivia and Kyle.

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