Mother and two babies
Niko and Makai with Vanessa (mom)

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Today, Niko and Makai look like any other newborns from Forest Grove, Ore. They spend their days sleeping, eating and having their diapers changed. The boys, and parents Jon and Vanessa, however, had a busy couple of days after birth.

Niko was born first, weighing 5 lbs. 3 oz with ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes. But, shortly after birth Niko went into respiratory distress. He needed more care than was available at OHSU Tuality Healthcare.

Niko was transported to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, and dad, Jon, rode with him in the ambulance the 18 miles to Portland. Soon after, Makai (6 lbs.), showed signs of distress and also needed to be transported to OHSU Doernbecher.

Mom, Vanessa, still recovering, stayed behind in Hillsboro.

Before each twin left, Vanessa said goodbye, but it would be nearly 12 hours before she was reunited with her newborn boys.

Within a few hours, each baby was breathing without assistance. Less than 24 hours after arriving at OHSU, both boys were discharged from the NICU and snuggling comfortably with mom.

Both babies are now thriving and the family is adjusting to being a family of seven. Visiting Tuality, they thank their doctors and providers for the wonderful care they received. But, they recognize that if Tuality had a NICU at the time of their birth, they would have been able to stay together as a family.

“It killed me that I couldn’t be with my kids. It was difficult knowing they were in another city.”
– Vanessa, Niko and Makai’s mother