Born 125 Days Early, These Iowa Twins Continue to Break Records
Keeley and Kambry Ewoldt of Jesup were born on November 24, 2018. Their gestation period lasted just 22 weeks and one day.
A healthy, full-term pregnancy lasts 40 weeks.
It was a scary sight for the twins' parents, who can now look back on the long list of difficulties with gratitude.
Jade Ewoldt, the girls' mother said this to The Courier:
God had a plan from Day One, and he saw far beyond anything I could see. As I look back at their journey, I now can see what God was doing. It’s hard to find words for what I feel.
Dr. Jonathan Klein, a neonatologist and medical director of the NICU at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital told Inside Edition what caused the early birth:
These babies unfortunately had something known as twin-twin transfusion syndrome. In which case, they start to share blood vessels and blood between the two. So one was pumping twice as hard as the other's heart and sending an excess amount of blood flow to the other twin. One was getting smaller and sicker, while the other was getting larger and also getting sicker with heart failure.
The twins underwent successful surgery in-utero to disconnect the vessels. Though the surgery went as planned, it induced Jade's early labor.
The story adds this: "At birth, Keeley weighed one pound and Kambry weighed 13.4 ounces. Each baby was about the length of a dollar bill. Kambry’s weight briefly dipped to less than a can of soda. The girls’ skin was so fragile it could tear with the slightest touch. Their eyelids weren’t yet formed. Respirators kept them breathing."
They spent five months in the neonatal intensive care unit at UIHC Stead Children’s hospital before they were finally released and sent home.
Dr. Klein said he remains astounded at how far the twins have come.
For 22-week babies to survive, it’s incredibly rare. Nationally, survival is around 10%.
Jade continued, saying the girls are happy and healthy now at age three. They came off supplemental oxygen just before they turned two in 2020.
You cannot really anticipate the next move (Kambry is) going to make. She’s so funny. She loves to pretend that she’s Keeley. Last night she took her sister’s glasses and put them on.
She added this to The Courier, saying that Keeley is a 'girly girl' who loves playing with dolls and Barbies.
The pair of girls grabbed headlines that far outreach their home state: