MAYWOOD, IL – Cake and presents were multiplied by three when Kyle, Finn and Ava Santiago returned as the guests of honor at a special first birthday party hosted recently at Loyola University Medical Center.
The reunion was very special for the Santiago triplets, who were born six weeks premature and spent about a month in Loyola’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) before going home last Christmas Eve.
"It's one of our favorite things as nurses to be able to see the babies we took care of in the NICU growing up happy and healthy," Cynthia Eichelberger, RN, said. "They will always be part of our Loyola family."
In 30 years, Loyola's NICU has cared for 500 sets of triplets, 10 sets of quadruplets, two sets of quintuplets, five sets of conjoined twins and thousands of twins.
After cake, parents Brandon and Heather Santiago delivered presents to the current families in the NICU.
"We can't say enough good things about Loyola," Heather Santiago said.
Mrs. Santiago received her prenatal care from Loyola’s multidisciplinary maternal-fetal team, which includes doctors, sonographers, genetic counselors, pediatric subspecialists, perinatologists, neonatologists and nurses.
She originally was scheduled to give birth by cesarean section on December 21, 2015. But after she developed preeclampsia (high blood pressure), which put her at risk for stroke, kidney failure and other serious complications, her C-section was moved up to December 6, 2015.
Finn (4 pounds, 2 ounces) was born first, followed by Kyle (4 pounds, 14 ounces) and Ava, (3 pounds, 14 ounces). The babies went home on Christmas Eve with their parents and big brother Liam.
"The NICU was phenomenal," Brandon Santiago said. "Everybody was professional and nice all the time. "You could tell they love their job."
Loyola Medicine’s board-certified neonatologists are nationally and internationally recognized as leaders in neonatology, or neonatal care. As a Level III Perinatal Center, Loyola offers the latest technology, therapies and techniques and serves as a national model for specialized protocols and practices in the care of premature infants. We care for more than 300 critically ill newborns each year. Our 50-bed NICU is known for the care of extremely premature babies and newborns with medical conditions such as jaundice or anemia.