BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) — At just 20 months old, identical twins Olivia and Cameron Plourde are already inseparable. After what they endured during their first weeks of life, it’s no wonder the two have an unspoken bond.
“When they were delivered, they rushed them right out,” recalled their father Brian Plourde. “There was no happy moments, no happy baby crying. There was just silence.”
Despite a smooth pregnancy, mom Adrienne went into labor 10 weeks early, prompting an emergency cesarean section. The identical twins were born weighing less than three pounds, and due to complications, the situation was dire.
“When they came out Cameron was grey and pale and basically looked lifeless and Olivia was completely purple with far too much blood,” Brian said.
That’s because the girls had a serious condition known as twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), which occurs in about 15 percent of identical twin pregnancies.
“Essentially Olivia was stealing all of Cameron’s blood and nutrients and food basically from the placenta so she was growing at a faster rate,” Brian explained.
Cameron required an emergency blood transfusion while Olivia urgently needed her blood thinned with saline so oxygen could reach her organs.
“Luckily for us, I don’t think we knew how serious it was,” said Brian. “They say ignorance is bliss and I truly believe that now because we didn’t know how dire their situation was at that time.”
Thankfully, the infants were in good hands at The Hospital of Central Connecticut’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) headed by Chief of Pediatrics Annmarie Golioto, M.D.
“The staff here is exceptional,” recalled mom Adrienne Plourde. “We still keep in touch with them, and they made us feel like family. You know we had some scary times and they took it all in stride, and it was really amazing.”
After 57 days in the hospital, Olivia and Cameron were finally able to go home.
“I think you know throughout their lives their experience is going to make them tough and resilient,” Adrienne said of her daughters. “We don’t baby them too much, which is maybe good and bad, but I think some of it is because we’ve seen them in such dire straits that you know any little bump on the head now, or tumble, it’s not a big deal.”
As for other parents going through the same thing, Brian and Adrienne have a few words of wisdom: “Trust the staff,” Brian said. “They know what they’re doing.”
Adrienne added, “And try to keep as positive an outlook as possible.”
On June 29th, a Red Cross Blood Drive will be held in honor of the twins. To make an appointment, log on to RedCrossBlood.org and type the sponsor code “#PlourdeStrong” into the “Find a Blood Drive” box.
Red Cross Blood Drive
In honor of Cameron & Olivia Plourde
Sponsored by The Hospital of Central Connecticut & Bristol Firefighters Local 773
Wednesday, June 29, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Hillside Community Church
435 Broad Street, Bristol
Sponsor code: #plourdestrong