Mike and Shannon Frick were high school sweethearts. They came from big families and planned to have a big family of their own. Their dreams came true when their first son, Owen, was born healthy and plump at over nine pounds.
The next pregnancy, however, was more difficult than anticipated, but after three years of trying they finally heard “YES.
” They were ecstatic to learn Shannon was pregnant and
Shannon recalls that at her 17 week ultrasound excitement turned to concern. The babies were diagnosed with the rare Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, a disease of the placenta that affects identical twin pregnancies. It causes one baby to have greater maternal blood flow than the other.
Shannon’s doctor calmly asked: “How far are you willing to go for your babies
“To the ends of the Earth,
” Shannon replied.
Within days they boarded an airplane and flew to the Colorado Children’s Hospital in Denver where America’s leading Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome team was ready and waiting for Shannon. After multiple surgeries and specialized treatments the Fricks flew home.
Thirteen weeks later, at 30 weeks of pregnancy, Shannon went into labor and the babies were born.
Edmund was born weighing a half of a pound. He never took a breath.
Liam was 2 ½ pounds. Shannon recalls Liam’s first sounds as the sweetest little cry she had ever heard. He spent over 10 weeks in the NICU, on a ventilator, fighting to live. After many weeks in the hospital, he was finally strong enough to go home.
Through this journey, Shannon and Mike found comfort and hope in the knowledge that many of the treatments Liam had were a result of the research funded by the March of Dimes.
The Fricks are a family in Worcester County that have been impacted by all three issues that the March of Dimes works to prevent: Premature Birth, Birth Defects and Infant Mortality. They volunteer and tell their story so that others may be moved join them.
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