Futures Worth Fighting For: Premature twin boys saved at Valley Children's Hospital

ByVanessa Vasconcelos and Aurora Diaz KFSN logo
Thursday, August 11, 2022
Premature twin boys saved at Valley Children's Hospital
The tiniest babies are saved at Valley Children's Hospital. When the unexpected happens, doctors in the NICU are ready to take action!

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Little Nico and Noah receive love at Valley Children's Hospital.

The fraternal twins also get specialized care at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or NICU, where the tiniest and most fragile patients can thrive.

"I'm just grateful that they survived," says their mother, Tanya Sarimazi. "There were times when I was scared that maybe one might not survive."

In May, Sarimazi's water broke 11 weeks before her due date.

"It was scary though when she called me because she was crying, and I have 100 things going through my mind now," says their dad, George Bagdoyan.

Dr. David Box was on call at Valley Children's satellite NICU at St. Agnes. The babies were born weighing just two pounds, and Noah needed extra support.

"Premature babies are at risk for something called spontaneous intestinal perforation," Dr. Box said. "That's when the bowel can perforate, open up and the air from the bowel can go into the rest of the abdomen."

Noah was transferred to the NICU at Valley Children's Hospital for surgery. Nico followed.

Valley Children's Hospital has the only Level 4 NICU in the Central Valley.

"What makes us a level four NICU is that we have practically all specialists available to us," Dr. Box said. "So we have pediatric surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, neurosurgery. We have ECMO, which is extra life support measures that the PICU offers."

The family spent the next two months bonding with their boys.

"Mom and dad have been very present," Dr. Box said. "There's a lot of studies that support parents that are present during their premature babies' NICU course, they tend to do a lot better."

As babies grow, parents learn how to care for them.

"They teach you every day," Bagdoyan said. "There's a lot that I go over but just the minor things."

The babies reach milestones and are now six and seven pounds with different personalities.

"Noah actually cries and screams for food, for his milk and Nico is the calm one and he just waits for it to come to him," Sarimazi said.

The boys are ready to join the other NICU graduates and go home.