I’m a miracle! Meet Pearce Ash
It is hard to put into words how a parent feels when they are faced with difficult medical decisions regarding the health of their children. It has to be one of the most difficult experiences for a family. And for families who don’t live close to the care and resources they need, there is an added stress, distance. RMHC gives families with a sick child what they need most – each other.
On November 25th, 2020 at 11 weeks pregnant, Brittany Slade and Cory Ash, of Salmon Cove NL, discovered they were going to be parents to twins. They were filled with joy and excitement!! But along with the joy and excitement there was anxiety, because with all pregnancies and especially multiple births, there is added stress and concern for the overall health and well-being of the babies.
Along the pregnancy journey, that was complicated with discomfort and pain, they were told that the twins were monochorionic/diamniotic twins which means that they are identical twins who share the same amnion but have separate chorions while in the womb. They were also informed that the twins had Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) which is a prenatal condition in which twins share unequal amounts of the placenta’s blood supply resulting in the two fetuses growing at different rates. The syndrome had reached stage 3 and the imbalance of blood flow was starting to affect the heart function in one or both babies.
Brittany and Cory were faced with some difficult decisions.
“The doctor explained to us that the pain and discomfort I was experiencing was from the TTTS. The choices were: do nothing and lose both of the babies, terminate the pregnancy, cut the cord on one baby and give the other baby the full placenta or be transferred to Toronto for a laser ablation surgery to laser the placenta to cut off the two babies connections. So, myself and Cory agreed, we wanted both babies to have a fighting chance. Because how can you just pick one baby? We decided to proceed with the laser surgery.” Brittany Slade
Following the surgery, Brittany and Cory were given terrible news. The ultrasound showed that Parker no longer had a heartbeat. The doctor explained to them that if the surviving baby was born now at 23 weeks he would have a 30-40% chance of survival.
“Our hearts shattered into a million pieces that day.”
Brittany was then admitted and made it as far as 28 weeks before she went into labour. On March 19th 2021 at 8:05pm Pearce was born at 2lbs 4.5oz and Parker was born sleeping.
“It was a very rough night. We lost our baby boy Parker and Pearce was born critically ill. He wasn’t responding to the ventilators to help him breathe. We just prayed he would be ok. “
Brittany and Cory spent the next three nights sleeping at the hospital. They knew Pearce had a long difficult road ahead and they needed to remain close to him. Shortly after, the family was introduced to the programs and services of Ronald McDonald House.
“Ronald McDonald House is beautiful! We felt so welcome. We told the staff the story of our two boys and when we got to our room there was a beautiful bag there with gifts for Pearce and a donated quilt and an extra little quilt in memory of Parker 💙.” Said Brittany
Brittany continued, “We felt so at home. We had home cooked meals made for us with snacks available at any time. Laundry rooms were full with supplies even baby detergent so I can wash Pearce’s blanket and clothes. Special occasions are always celebrated and they do so many different things at the house. But the most special day of all was to spend my first Mother’s Day at Ronald McDonald House. They made me feel so special! I received a beautiful Mother’s Day shirt, a rose and all dads & kids made a wooden mom sign to give all the mothers! Thank you to the sponsors, volunteers and donors for making this very difficult time away from home feel so much better. It was a difficult situation but the Ronald McDonald house made it so much easier to be with our boy!”
Brittany and Cory spent a total of 61 nights at Ronald McDonald House and were so happy to finally return home with their miracle Pearce.
“We are so proud of Pearce, our little miracle boy”.
As of July 29, 2021, Pearce is now five months old, 11lbs and doing very well.