Variety Kids is marking their 55th annual telethon this Sunday, April 2. It’s all to support the great work done at Women and Children’s Hospital. That’s where medical miracles are born, including Owen and Evan Guise.
They were born twins, but because of complications, were sent on very different paths.
They were born ten weeks early and both weighed three pounds. Evan was a typical preemie, but Owen was born with a life-threatening condition.
"Owen was born septic. I was told he wasn't going to make it through night one,” says Heather Mieth, Owen’s mom.
Owen had brain damage, bacteria in his blood, fluid in his lungs, and blockage from his stomach to his intestine. It didn’t look good. Doctors prepared Owen’s mom for the worst.
"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, said Mieth”
But despite it all, doctors were determined to save him. Owen spent more than three months in the NICU at Women and Children's Hospital.
Doctors reconstructed his backside to allow proper bowel movements.
"Within his first month, he required two surgeries and multiple procedures to help him pull through his issues,” says Women and Children’s Hospital Neonatologist Sara Berkelhamer.
Heather calls Owen her "miracle baby". But she knows this was no miracle. This was the work of Children's.
"Thanks to this hospital, he's alive and he's breathing."
Owen still has developmental delays. He’s legally blind and deaf in one ear, and there's a good chance he'll have cerebral palsy.
Meanwhile, his twin brother Evan is your typical energetic toddler.
For Heather, positivity and gratitude for the doctors and staff at children's hospital carry her through.
"We take it day by day. We're glad he's here with us and alive and breathing and smiling and having fun. So we take it day by day, 'cause nobody knows what the future holds for any of us. True, very true. There's definitely a reason why he's here."