Premature twins with Osoyoos connections recovering well

By on October 10, 2017

Harper looks relaxed as her mother, Amanda, holds her. (Contributed photo)

After a very difficult introduction to the world, the “worst appears to be over” for a couple of little girls with strong Osoyoos connections who were born three months premature.

As his little girls, named Aspen and Harper, make a remarkable recovery at a world-class Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Mike Lowton, who spent his entire childhood in Osoyoos, and his wife Amanda, are breathing much easier.

“It was pretty scary the first two or three days … there were a lot of tears,” said Lowton, whose parents owned Mr. Mike’s Restaurant in downtown Osoyoos for more than 20 years. “Aspen had some pretty serious issues those first couple of days, but she’s a fighter.”

As often happens with premature twins, Harper got stronger and Aspen had some difficulties last week, he said.

The great news is during week three last week, both girls were doing well and have surpassed their birth weight and both were doing extremely well as of last Friday, said Lowton.

The Lowtons are informing their family, friends and supporters with daily updates on their little girls’ progress on the Facebook page called Aspen and Harper Rock the NICU.

Lowton’s mother, Elaine Taylor, was also a nurse at the former Sagebrush Lodge for over 20 years and is now retired and living in Osoyoos. She travelled to Edmonton after the twins were born to take care of her son’s three other children living at home.

Lowton and his wife, who have four children ranging in ages from one to 16, were expecting twins a week before Christmas.

But that all changed on Sept. 20 when his wife called him at work and said she felt something wasn’t right and they should go to the hospital.

He quickly found a babysitter to take care of the children at home and rushed her to Grey Nun’s Hospital in Edmonton, said Lowton.

Doctors determined that an emergency C-section would have to take place and Aspen and Harper were brought into the world three minutes apart. They both weighed less than two pounds.

Because of medical concerns, the girls were brought to Royal Alexandra and its NICU hours after being born, but their mother had to remain at Grey Nun’s until doctors said she was strong enough to be brought to Royal Alexandra four days later.

Considering how difficult the first week was with both girls, their progress has been remarkable and doctors remain confident the worst is over, said Lowton.

“Things are incredibly good considering where they were those first couple of days,” he said. “It’s been sort of like a miracle actually … the first couple of days Aspen was having a really tough time and then she got better and then Harper had a few bad days.

“But they’re both doing well now and growing and getting stronger and things look really good for both of them.”

He and his wife spend several hours each day “getting skin time” by holding, caressing and touching both girls, which doctors say is crucially important with premature babies, said Lowton.

Lowton’s sister Dana has started a GoFundMe campaign to help her brother and family as they will be facing numerous medical bills in the coming weeks and months as well as much needed home support for the family.

As of last Friday, close to $4,700 of the $5,000 goal had been reached.

“The amount of support we have received has been unbelievable,” said Lowton.

Because he’s had to spend so much time in hospital and hasn’t been able to spend as much time at home, his mother is helping out taking care of his other children and friends and neighbours have also helped immensely, he said.

“It’s been really tough on the other kids … they want to know why Mommy can’t come home and why Daddy isn’t around like he usually is,” he said. “There have been a lot of tears for sure.”

In an ironic twist of bad timing, the twins were born only weeks after Lowton had to be rushed to hospital to battle pancreatitis.

“I was rocked in the middle of August with pancreatitis and had to spend some time in hospital … talk about bad timing,” he said smiling. “But I’m doing well now and on the road to recovery.”

With Aspen and Harper growing and getting stronger with each passing day, the future for them and his family looks very bright, said Lowton.

“I’m sure we’re going to have some very good stories to tell sitting around the dinner table when everyone gets older,” he said. “You don’t expect something like this to happen to you, but when it does, you just have to do what you have to do to try and get through it.

“It has been a pretty tough couple of weeks for Amanda and the girls, but it looks like the worst is over and we’re looking forward to the girls getting stronger and eventually being able to get out of hospital and come home to join the family.”

Lowton can’t say enough good things about the doctors, nurses and support staff at the Royal Alexandra NICU.

“It’s considered one of the best hospitals in the world for taking care of premature babies and they’ve simply been amazing,” he said.

Anyone wishing to donate to the GoFundMe page can find a link at the top of the Aspen and Harper Rock The NICU Facebook page.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

 

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One Comment

  1. Elaine Taylor

    October 11, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Awesome article Keith about our sweet little babies. They had their first meeting with each other yesterday and it was amazing for Michael and Amanda…..I will send you a pic of it…..we are so appreciative of all the wonderful support we have had and know that the girls are going overcome all of the trials and tribulations of their days and grow up big and strong…..thanks again…..am missing my Osoyoos community.

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