At 20 weeks, she was admitted to St. Joseph East Hospital in Lexington, then sent to UK at 25 weeks. After Evan suffered a cord abruption, the twins were delivered via an emergency caesarean section.
“She had a rough time,” James said.
Both Amy and James credit research done by the March of Dimes with helping to save their sons’ lives. As a way of saying thank you, and to ensure that more parents get to bring their children home from the hospital one day, the Stultses have organized a team to raise money for the March of Dimes. The team will participate in the March for Babies in Lexington May 15 and has raised approximately $2,000.
“I really credit the March of Dimes research with having our babies here,” Amy said.
The former pre-school teacher has taken the year off from work to be with the twins, and take them to their doctors’ appointments. James is a teacher and assistant football coach at George Rogers Clark High School.
“I’m amazed every day,” Amy said. “I think we probably celebrate a lot of the smaller things that other people forget to celebrate. Everything they do makes me cry.”
Because of March of Dimes research, Evan received nitrous oxide when he was born, and both twins were given vitamin A shots the first 12 days of their lives to help with lung development.
All money raised by the Walk for Babies will go to fund medical experiments that help babies like Evan and Xander Stults. The twins have now grown to 22 pounds each, and at their one year follow-up visit to the NICU clinic, both boys tested at or above their adjusted age level in physical development. For cognitive and language development, James said the twins tested at or above age level for their actual age.
That despite heart problems, hernias and coming home from the hospital still on oxygen. Evan was on oxygen until 10 months, and Xander was on oxygen for almost eight months.
“Even when we look back at their pictures, it’s hard for us to grasp how small they really were,” Amy said.
When the twins were first born, James said his wedding ring would slide over their little feet and up their ankles.
Like most parents, the Stults wonder about their children’s future, and hope that they will be able to accomplish their goals.
“I just want them to be happy and healthy. We’re gonna do what we can to keep them healthy enough to grow the lung tissue to do what they want to do,” Amy said.
For more information on the March of Dimes, or to make a contribution to the Stults team, visit www.walkforbabies.org/team/stults.
“The progression of them growing, that’s the best part, coming home and hearing them say, ‘Da-da,’” James said.
Contact Rachel Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org.