OKLAHOMA CITY – On a freezing cold New Year’s Eve, it was a big surprise for one metro mom. She found out that day she was pregnant with twins and, that night, they were born.
Now, they’re thriving – thanks to the help of some Oklahoma City firefighters. On Wednesday, they all had a heartwarming reunion in the NICU at Integris Children’s Baptist Medical Center.
Mom Jerany Santiago and her two daughters met four members of the Oklahoma City Fire Department for a second time.
“They look so much different,” said Chad Grant, holding one of the little girls for a second time.
The first was on the New Years Eve they’ll never forget.
“You’re like heroes,” Santiago said.
She had just found out earlier that day she was 23 weeks pregnant with the twins. As if that wasn’t surprising enough, the twins were born that night – in her bathroom.
“It was very scary with no doctor or anything,” Santiago said. “I had them on my own.”
Santiago called 911 and, within five minutes, Captain Travis Fryrear arrived with firefighters TJ Radford, Chad Grant and Nathan Vandervort.
“I mean it was like clockwork,” Fryrear said. “Everybody just working around.”
They worked around did chest compressions on two teeny tiny babies – weighing about a pound and a half each. It’s something firefighters are trained for, even though it doesn’t happen often.
“But, when it actually happens, all that we trained on comes back,” Fryrear said.
Their size wasn’t the only challenge. They were also dealing with a brutally cold night.
“Firefighter Radford rode in on a cot, carrying one of the babies with blankets draped over him and the baby,” Fryrear said.
Once they got to the hospital, the firefighters handed the babies over to doctors, fearing for the worst. But, thankfully – that wasn’t the case.
“We owe it to these firefighters,” said neonatal nurse practitioner Kristi Cagle. “I tell you, had it been five more minutes, we would have had a totally different outcome.”
“That’s why I thank them because, if it weren’t for them, they (the babies) wouldn’t be here,” Santiago said.
The babies now weigh about seven pounds each. Doctors said they are doing well, especially for how premature they were.
The best news is they are expected to get to go home on Friday.
The family lives just down the street from the fire department, and the firefighters said they’re looking forward to watching the girls grow up.