Sometimes Miracles Come in Pairs
Upon receiving in vitro fertilization treatment, Lubna and her husband received the best news of their lives: they were pregnant with quadruples; two boys and two girls. The expectant mother experienced a normal pregnancy and was as happy as any expecting mother would be. Unfortunately, her joy was short-lived when she suddenly went into labour at the second trimester – 6 months – in her home, where she gave birth to Naim, a baby boy. She was then rushed to a maternity hospital in Bethlehem, where she resumed the delivery. The mother lost the two girls due to complications resulting from premature birth. Nonetheless, the two boys were strong enough to make it. She named the other twin brother Ayan.
The twin brothers were immediately taken into the neonatal intensive care unit at the maternity hospital and had very little chances of survival due to their small size, in which they weighed less than 1 kilogram each. Furthermore, a brain ultrasound showed that Naim suffered from bleeding in the brain – known as intraventricular haemorrhage - and many of his systems were underdeveloped. He then underwent surgery, wherein a tube, namely a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt, was inserted into his brain to drain away excess fluid (hydrocephalus). While this saved his life, this meant that Naim could suffer from long-term cognitive, social and emotional development delays.
Three months in, Ayan’s condition had stabilized and it was safe for him to leave the hospital. A month later, Naim was also able to go back home to his family. Being known for its pioneering role in early physiotherapy, the infants were brought to Caritas Baby Hospital to receive the medical treatment they needed to lead normal lives.
The physiotherapy department team carried out an assessment on both infants to determine muscle weakness areas and their respective developmental ages. A comprehensive treatment plan was then uniquely developed to meet the needs of each child.
Naim (left) and Ayan (right) - July 2020
The team included muscle-strengthening exercises, activities in rolling and sitting as well as social skills during play, among other activities, in their treatment program to help them grow to their full potential.
Normally, it would be a miracle for children born this small to ever talk, walk or sit. It has indeed been a challenging journey for Naim and Ayan since they came to us for help six months ago, yet they have shown amazing signs of progress.
While Ayan is showing noticeable signs of improvement in his motor skills, exhibited by his actions of sitting on his own, playing and moving, Naim is improving at a faster rate in his cognitive skills and has acquired better speech and communication skills so far. Generally speaking, the support provided by our team will contribute to the quality of life of the twin, so that they become active members in society despite the complications that are associated with their premature birth.
The twins’ rate of improvement is monitored and re-evaluated biweekly as they come for physiotherapy sessions and neurodevelopmental follow-up. Additionally, the team provides the mother with home exercises to carry out with Ayan and Naim to optimize their speed of growth.
Naim (left) and Ayan (right) - November 2020
Lubna stated on her experience with the physiotherapy team caring for her children: “They never gave me false hope, yet are determined to help them become better. I appreciate their honesty and openness on their condition and future. I am very optimistic and I know my boys will lead happy lives.”
Prepared by: Shaden Shaer