Couple from Alabama seeks life-saving care for twins at Texas Children’s Hospital

A couple from Birmingham, Ala., traveled to Houston to get life-saving treatment for their twins during pregnancy at Texas Children's Hospital. The fetuses were fused together with the same blood supply. Now Jamie and Brian Fisher are cherishing every moment with their twin boys, Aaron and Liam.

After two years of fertility treatments, they decided to place one embryo. It split, producing identical twin boys. However, they received devastating news during their four-month ultrasound. The babies had a condition called twin to twin transfusion syndrome, or TTTS.

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"Definitely quite a shock at that first visit, and that's where we first found out about Texas Children's and the options for treatment," states Jamie.

Their doctor suggested they head to Houston for specialized care at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women.

"They're ready to hear all the good news and look at a video of the babies and they found out that there's a real problem that could, if not treated, end up in a 90% chance of losing the pregnancy," explains Dr. Michael Belfort, who led their medical team in Houston. He's the Ob/Gyn in Chief at Texas Children's Hospital and the Chair in the Department of OB/Gyn at Baylor College of Medicine

"TTTS is when one baby is essentially transfusing blood or pressure to the other baby. The one baby, the so-called donor baby stops producing urine and all the fluid around that baby is slowly resorbed. The other baby is getting additional blood additional pressure and the heart of that baby starts to fail, and that baby is trying to get rid of all that fluid by urinating a huge amount. So you get one sack with a large amount of fluid in it and the other sack with a baby's essentially vacuum packed up against the wall of the uterus," explains Dr. Belfort.

"That was definitely a really hard time in our journey with this pregnancy because we didn't know if we would lose the babies," reflects Jamie.

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They had to wait three weeks for the babies to grow stronger. At 19 weeks, Jamie was prepped for surgery.

"We put a scope into the sack that has a lot of fluid and we visualize the connections on the placenta that are creating the connections between these two babies. And then we'll use a laser to basically ablate those connections," explains Dr. Belfort. The goal - create two sides of the placenta.

"The surgery was very successful and thank God both babies have done very well," says Dr. Belfort.

This loving couple relied on their deep faith to get them through the trying times.

"I think the biggest thing is it's really when you get to that point, it's the only option so you kind of have to go in eyes wide open, there's no denying what has to be done and just allows you to kind of take it head on. This is it, and we've got to put our faith in the experts and I think it was faith well-placed," says a smiling Brian.

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They were able to go back to Alabama and the babies were born prematurely, as many twins are, at 32 weeks.

"You wouldn't know they're special, after all they went through  before they're even born, if you just looked at them, so it's actually really incredible. They're doing fantastic," exclaims Brian.      

"Even given their prematurity, they really have been thriving.  Everything laid perfectly in place to support them through this journey. We had the best team around us, so we're thankful for that," states Jamie.

Dr. Belfort says the long-term outlook for the twins is ideal! After the successful procedure, there are no-side effects from their twin-to-twin-transfusion.

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