Mom thanks Children's Hosp. for "miracle baby"

Owen Guise wasn't expected to survive first night
Posted at 11:34 PM, Mar 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-14 23:34:59-04

Dressed in identical red knit sweaters, Evan and Owen Guise also wear a matching grin and curious eyes.

But aside from their brotherly similarities, you'd hardly know they're twins.

The 21-month olds were born ten weeks early at Women and Children's Hospital in spring of 2015.  Evan faced fairly common side effects that premature babies face.  Owen on the other hand, was a much different story.

"Owen was born septic. I was told he wasn't going to make it through night one," Owen and Evan's mother Heather Mieth said.

Owen faced a host of issues: bacteria in his blood; fluid in his lungs; blockage from his stomach to his intestine; an imperforate anus.

"I was told at some point through the night they were going to come and wake me up to hold him so I could say goodbye to him," Mieth remembers.

Neonatologist Dr. Sara Berkelhamer was the lead physician in charge of Owen's medical care.

"Surgeons were involved, the neonatologists involved, he had consultations by multiple other teams in this institution," Dr. Berkelhamer said.

Owen spent more than three months in the NICU, nearly twice as much time spent there than his brother Evan. 

"Within his first month, he required two surgeries and multiple procedures to help him pull through his issues," Berkelhamer said.

Among the surgeries was a procedure to reconstruct his backside to allow proper bowel movements. 

Heather calls Owen her "miracle baby."  However, she knows this was no miracle. This was the work of the doctors and staff at Children's.

Owen still has developmental delays.  Heather says he's legally blind, deaf in one year, and there is a good chance he'll have Cerebral Palsy.  

Evan is already stepping up to perform brotherly duties.

"Evan is learning a bit of sign language. He's obviously catching on a little bit faster than Owen. But he does know how to say things like 'milk'," Heather said.

Despite the monumental task of raising twin boys with two very different needs, Heather maintains a positive attitude with plenty of gratitude for the team at Children's.

"We take it day by day. We're glad he's here with us and alive and breathing and smiling and having fun."