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Andrea S.

In September of 2014, my twin daughters were born 12 weeks early. They both spent many months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, fighting to grow and strengthen their lungs. They were eventually both diagnosed with chronic lung disease, and both required tracheostomies to help them breathe.

While Zooey began to thrive after receiving her trach, Lily still had a long road ahead of her. She later had a lung biopsy and was diagnosed with severe chronic lung disease. She was unable to breathe without assistance from a ventilator and oxygen, and we were trained to learn how to take care of her at home with a home ventilator.

She has fought so hard to breathe since she was born, something most of us take for granted. Over the last year and a half since she has been home, she has been able to get up the strength to no longer require a ventilator to breathe, and to only need oxygen on occasions.

Lung disease has affected our lives in ways we never could have imagined.. Many times we thought we would lose our children, but they have preserved though so many difficulties.

I feel it is important to raise awareness to chronic lung disease, especially when others may not understand the reasons that a small child would have such medical equipment/special needs.

Despite all that Zooey and Lily have been through in their 2 years of life, they are some of the happiest kids I have ever seen. They may have tracheostomies, and lots of different medical equipment, but they can run and play and have fun just the same as any other toddler, and that is what I would like the world to see.

First Published: November 1, 2016

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