Premature twins Keegan and Quinlan R spent six weeks in the NICU receiving round-the-clock care. By the end of their stay, their parents viewed the Stony Brook team as “family.”
They were never the sickest babies in the NICU. They weren’t even the only twins—they actually were one of seven sets of twins, but that didn’t matter. During their six-week stay at Stony Brook University Medical Center, Keegan and Quinlan R received round-the-clock attention and medical support from the staff as if they were the only patients on the unit. In addition, their parents, Lindsay and Andrew, received all the training they needed in caring for their babies—and then some.
“Having children in the NICU was a very emotional time for us,” says Lindsay, 31, of Hampton Bays. “We were first-time parents. Every health issue with one of the babies put us on a roller coaster. I had so many questions, and at first I couldn’t even change a diaper properly—one nurse had to review it with me three times. But she, and everyone else on the team, was amazing. They were always patient and kind. They listened and they responded.”
It wasn’t just the NICU that impressed the Rs. It was the entire experience at Stony Brook, which started when Lindsay went into labor at 31 weeks and was transferred from her local hospital to Stony Brook because of its expertise with premature newborns. “I had the first baby almost immediately upon arrival, but the second baby came two hours and six minutes later,” recalls Lindsay. “During this time, the team of doctors was amazing—calm, relaxed, professional. Even though this was my first experience at Stony Brook, I was comfortable and felt like everyone was on the same page as me and that they could accommodate our needs.”
This became a repeating theme over the course of the stay. “It was a lot of little things that cumulatively made a difference,” explains Lindsay. “It was difficult to breastfeed the babies, but the nurses made time for me to try every day. When I needed to pump milk, there was a separate pumping room waiting. If a doctor explained a medical term and saw a blank look on my face, he or she would put it into plain language. When my husband and I were concerned about continuity of our boys’ care, the response was immediate and nursing assignments changed. Then there were the small touches like the March of Dimes giving us hand-knitted blankets, or on Valentine’s Day, when the staff decorated Keegan and Quinlan’s isolette. Everything mattered.”
Today the twins are growing and doing well. They receive follow-up care in Stony Brook’s high-risk clinic for some of the issues commonly associated with prematurity, but they are healthy and happy children.
“It sounds weird to say, but I was genuinely sad to leave Stony Brook’s NICU. They were our family for six weeks—an amazing and supportive family.”