Twins Audrey and Kennedy Kirby each have a pair of tiny pink boxing gloves hanging from their cribs. More than cute baby décor, these gloves symbolize the beautiful courage and tenacity these two little girls and their parents, Bobby and Megan Kirby, have modeled every day for the past 10 months.
“Our girls are fighters — fighting for their lives,” Bobby says. The Kirby twins came to the Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) last November “on the edge of viability,” according to Dr. James Moore, medical director of the Children’s NICU. Born 17 weeks premature, Kennedy weighed 15 ounces, and Audrey, 21 ounces — about the weight of a loaf of bread.
At birth, the twins’ skin was so thin that their bones were visible. Their bodies hadn’t yet developed fat, and it caused them pain to be touched. Megan and Bobby couldn’t even caress their newborn daughters.
If the girls were to survive, they needed extraordinary help. And thanks in part to the generous donors who have contributed to the Children’s NICU, the twin girls had a chance at life. The Children’s NICU, a Level 3C intensive care unit, is the highest level intensive care unit possible.
“We can take care of any baby who is referred to us,” Dr. Rashmin Savani, division director of Neonatal- Perinatal medicine at Children’s, says.
There were many times when the Kirbys feared they would lose their little girls. Among other things, Audrey developed excessive fluid in her lungs, and Kennedy had a brain bleed. Both had heart troubles.
But through problem after problem, the twins fought hard and gained strength, proving every day how deserving they are of their little pink boxing gloves.
Kennedy and Audrey’s fighting spirits still need to carry them through more challenges, but they’ve got the love and support of the Children’s team and their family to help them along the way.
“I don’t think my babies would be here without the NICU staff at Children’s,” Megan says. “I think we would’ve gone crazy, too, without their support. If we had a million dollars, we would give it to Children’s to help other families like ours.”