When we first found I would be having twins, my husband, our son Ellison and I were over the moon with excitement after the initial shock. These boys would be our rainbow babies, after a loss of pregnancy before. Throughout the twin pregnancy I saw a high risk OBGYN as well as my normal OB. Every appointment we were told the twins were healthy and happy, even at our anatomy scan, they found no problems. I went into labor on May 6, 2019, with the twins 6 weeks before my due date and delivered locally. Lawson was immediately airlifted to a larger, more capable hospital, and Watson was airlifted to the same hospital a few hours later. As soon as I was able to go, we drove over two hours to the hospital to be with our babies. We quickly found out that Lawson had a plethora of heart issues; these issues were so severe, he had to be transferred again to another hospital. Watson was transferred a few days later, and quickly was released from the NICU.
We spent the next 5 months in Atlanta, with a three-year-old and a newborn, going back and forth from the hospital to the Ronald McDonald house. After being in the hospital a few days, Lawson had a minor surgery to be put on ECMO. ECMO is total life support, heart and lungs. The chances of coming off ECMO and living are about 50/50 but our boy is a survivor. After ECMO, Lawson had multiple blood transfusions, An N-G tube for nutrition, diaphragm plication surgery, open heart surgery to place a stent, as well as a few other minor problems and surgeries.
After a very long five months Lawson was discharged to come home from the hospital. He came home with the NG feeding tube, continuous oxygen, multiple daily medication and daily shots in his legs. 5 months later, the twins were 10 months, and we found ourselves back at the Children’s Hospital for a major open-heart surgery in the thick of the Covid-19 pandemic. This surgery took roughly 8 hours, but he came through well. During this same hospital stay they also placed a G-Tube in his stomach as a permanent feeding tube, and another minor surgery. After about 6 weeks, we had Lawson home again.
Lawson was extremely developmentally delayed, he did not eat anything by mouth, and he still struggled with the severe lung disease. We got him into physical therapy and speech therapy as soon as we could. Lawson has had a few more trips to the hospital for various reasons, but overall, he was doing good.
Fast forward to today, Lawson is in speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy weekly. Lawson has a primary care doctor, and he still sees a GI doctor, Nephrologist, Pulmonologist, and Cardiologist.
Lawson is very much in the process of overcoming his developmental delays and catching up to his twin brother. Lawson is also eating well, and we are planning to have the G-Tube removed as soon as the GI doctor says we can. We went from “end of life” talks at the hospital, to a happy and energetic 3-year-old.
Lawson still suffers from lung disease, although it’s much better, we would like to rip up our old carpet and put hardwood flooring down. This will be very beneficial to Lawson and everyone in our family because this carpet is old and dirty, harboring dust and dirt, which is not good for anyone with lung issues. The flooring under the carpet is very soft in spots, as well as moldy, so this would provide the opportunity to fix the main flooring in our doublewide and new laminate flooring would make it more structurally sound. We would also like a new front door. Our life with twins didn’t start how we expected, and Lawson is forever teaching us to be humble and to be thankful for life each day. Thank you for this opportunity to make some quality-of-life improvements as well as connecting us to this community of support.
Gift: Financial assistance towards new flooring and front door
Location: Union County
Given: October 2023