The 55th annual Variety Kids telethon, in support of Women and Children’s Hospital, takes place on Sunday, April 2.
The Camp family believes the work of the hospital saved their baby boys.
If you spend some time with 10-year-old Kennedy, 7-year-old Addison and 5-year-old twins Carter and Griffin, you know life is pretty busy for the Camp family. It’s difficult to tell, but things could have been much different.
Five years ago, Carter and Griffin were born at Women and Children’s Hospital 15 weeks early, with their mother in distress.
“When I delivered, they had to put me under because Griffin, the cord was around his neck and we were coming fast. When I woke up, I didn’t know what was going on,” said Alison Camp, the twins’ mother.
At birth, the twins weighed only a pound and a half each. Their family praying they would survive.
“I realized they wheeled me in on my hospital bed to name them, because they didn’t know if they would live,” said Alison. “You sit there and you are breastfeeding and they thought they might die and they needed a name.”
The next hours, days and weeks were a rollercoaster filled with hopeful progress, then emotional setbacks, with nurses and doctors urging the camps to stay positive, but realistic.
“You think about getting through minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day, just keep building and moving forward,” said Tim Camp, the twins’ father.
“You don’t think about when they would come home in the beginning, you don’t think about them coming home, you think about getting through the next 24 hours,” says Alison.
It was a long, challenging road, but the boys would go home. Carter left the hospital after 98 days in the NICU. Griffin was released after that.
“At 25 weeks, it’s about a 60 percent chance of survival at all, and many of those kids that survive have significant developmental disabilities,” says Dr. Martin Hoffman, Medical Director of the Robert Warner Center at Children’s Hospital.
Both boys are still facing challenges and are working with specialists, but the Camp family knows just how lucky they are.
“To see them now, they get physical therapy and occupational therapy and vision therapy and speech therapy. Those are such a small thing,” says Alison.
As a way to give back, Alison now works with the family advisory council at the hospital, sharing her family’s story and the boys’ experiences to make others more comfortable during their stay.
“I feel like we owe our children’s lives to this hospital. And I think if it weren’t for this hospital, we wouldn’t be able to sit here and tell our story. I just don’t think I can ever repay them,” says Alison.