Texas sextuplets’ parents: Sick baby a ‘fighter’

HOUSTON (AP) — The parents of Houston-area sextuplets born last month said Wednesday that one of the babies is battling some health problems but they are confident she will recover and are looking forward to taking all six newborns home soon.

Lauren and David Perkins said their three boys — Andrew, Benjamin and Levi — and two of their girls — Allison and Caroline — are doing well. The third daughter, Leah, had surgery Monday to repair a portion of her bowel, and her parents say she is a “fighter.”

Lauren Perkins, 28, of the Houston suburb of Pearland said at a news conference that it has been upsetting to watch Leah struggle.

“Leah is just a roller coaster for sure,” she said. “We get excited for all of her gains and then it’s heartbreaking when she has a big setback. She’s been able to recover from everything so far. We are just confident she will be able to pull through.”

The sextuplets, who were conceived after their mother underwent fertility treatment, were born April 23 — 10 weeks premature.

The babies could be healthy enough to go home in 10 weeks or so, said Dr. Charles Hankins, a neonatologist at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, where the children were born. The heaviest of them weighed 2 pounds, 15 ounces at birth, and they need to be up to 4 to 5 pounds before they can leave the hospital, he said.

Hankins said all of the babies except for Leah are able to breathe unaided and have been taken off mechanical ventilation. Four of them will have the central lines that support their nutrition removed Wednesday and Levi will have his removed Thursday.

“This is a big milestone,” Hankins said.

Leah will continue being fed through an IV line.

“We are just thanking God every day for our babies and we are looking forward to bringing them home,” Lauren Perkins said.

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