In July 2011, Kellie Hoiness was giddy over her upcoming 21-week doctor’s appointment. She and her husband, Marshall, would learn the gender of their twins. As first-time parents, each appointment was a milestone.
They learned they were having baby girls – and that their seemingly normal pregnancy was anything but. One of the twins – Khloe – had blood flow issues. She wasn’t growing properly.
Ten days later, the Hoinesses returned for another appointment and learned the blood flow restriction to Khloe had gone from slight to moderate. The pregnancy needed to be closely monitored. Then, just a week later, they learned that the blood flow went from moderate to reverse for Khloe. Kennedy had started experiencing slight restriction, too.
At just 24 weeks, six days, Hoiness was admitted to Abbott Northwestern Hospital, where her doctor hoped she would make it 28 weeks before delivering. Within hours of being admitted, her medical team discovered she had HELLP Syndrome (a potentially life-threatening obstetric complication).
The babies needed to be delivered – stat. On Aug, 21, 2011 – at just 25 weeks – the babies entered the world by emergency cesarean section. Khloe weighed 14.8 ounces and Kennedy weighing 1 pound, 4 ounces. Within moments of being born, they were whisked away through an underground tunnel to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.
“It was a scary time. My health was very fragile, but fortunately my vitals went up soon after they were born,” Hoiness said. “Yet, for 10 days, I was at Abbott while my babies were at Children’s. We made many trips back and forth through the tunnel.”
For nearly five months, Children’s became home for the Hoinesses. In the first 10 days of life, both girls underwent two surgeries. Kennedy had a central line put in through her groin and underwent surgery to close her ductus valve. Khloe had a broviac put in through her neck and surgery to close her ductus valve.
Through it all, the couple was impressed by the level of compassion, expertise and dedication the staff demonstrated.
Finally, after 113 days, Kennedy was discharged from the hospital. And, about 20 days later, Khloe was able to also go home.
“The twins saved my life, and I saved theirs,” Hoiness said. “Had we not realized Khloe was having blood flow issues, we may not have discovered that I had HELPP syndrome and that my health was at risk. We were blessed that the doctors were so attentive to what was happening to both the girls and me.”
She calls her daughters the “Hoiness Miracles.”
On June 1, the Hoinesses will join their family and friends as for Baby Steps 3K and party – an event that benefits the neonatal program at Children’s. Last year, the “Hoiness Miracles” team had 60 members, making it the largest team. Marshall and Kellie will share the story of their daughters, now 21 months old, at the program following the walk.
“The staff at Children’s became like family to us. We keep in touch with them as much as we can. We’ve golfed with our neonatologist. We’ve sent staff birthday and holiday cards. We stop by to say ‘hello’ whenever we’re at Children’s.”