MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG)– It’s a common problem for many couples. You want to have kids, but you struggle to get pregnant.
In Germantown, when you first see the smiles and hear the laughter of Avery and Ella Read taking a journey through their front yard in their red wagon, it’s almost hard to believe what these twin sisters have fought through at just three years old.
Their parents, Courtney and Wes Read, describe their birth to now as being walking miracles.
“We tried to get pregnant naturally for about a year and we started realizing there were some issues,” Wes said.
After struggling with infertility, the couple underwent several rounds of in-vitro fertilization.
“On our third round, we decided to transfer to embryos, which we now have to amazing daughters, but we were over the moon when we finally found out and they gave us the call that Courtney was pregnant,” Wes said.
For the Reads, that one phone call was a blessing. But 22 weeks into Courtney’s pregnancy, and almost out of nowhere, they were blindsided.
“Courtney had found blood in her urine. We called one of our buddies who’s a OB (obstetrician) and he’s usually even keel like everything is going to be fine and he said you need to immediately go to the hospital,” Wes said.
“They basically said you’ll be here until you give birth. They said they’ll try their best to keep you put and keep the girls in,” Courtney said.
At just 24 weeks, Avery and Ella were born prematurely. They were beautiful yet tiny, weighing just 1.6 pounds each. Their doctors said they would need specialized care.
“Kinda said this is out of our expertise and we need to get you to the best place and that was Le Bonheur,” Wes said.
Avery and Ella would need to transfer to Le Bonheur after showing signs of Necrotizing Enterocolitis or NEC, a serious gastrointestinal problem mostly affecting premature babies.
“I’m sorry. I called the family in the waiting room and said everything is great. They’re a pound and a half and it was kinda…I don’t know is great. I guess that’s when it hit me that this was a serious situation,” Wes said through tears.
The situation became even more serious when doctors determined the twins had a hole in their hearts.
“They both had holes in their hearts. They were not fully grown,” Courtney said. “When that surgery came up with regards to their hearts, I was blown away.”
Avery and Ella’s hearts would need a new procedure called a PDA closure. The Reads say the doctors and nurses were there for them.
“Like I said they cried with us. They prayed with us. Whatever we needed, the nurses were there,” Wes said. “We kinda knew we had a long road ahead of us.”
Courtney and Wes say their family, friends, and faith were more important than ever with even strangers praying for their little girls.
Their surgeries were successful.
“Their weight gain got slowly better overall. So, it was a game-changer for sure,” Wes said.
That game-changer meant Avery and Ella could live normal lives.
“They are walking and talking and doing everything they should be doing at the age of three. They are a little wild, but three-year-old twins it’s to be expected…but they are absolutely amazing,” Courtney said.
Two little amazing girls whose hearts beat stronger because of Le Bonheur
“I honestly don’t think they’d be here without Le Bonheur. We feel so blessed, so lucky. We’ve said it but there are no other words to use,” Wes said.