Beliefnet
Inspiration Report

pexels-photo-59894Every expecting mother’s worst nightmare is to learn that there is something wrong with her unborn child. When Heather Garrity faced that fear, she was told that she might lose not one of her children but both. Garrity was 22 weeks pregnant when her doctor informed her that her twin babies were suffering from twin-twin transfusion syndrome. Twin-twin transfusion syndrome is a serious medical disease of the placenta that can occur when identical twins share the effected placenta. Over time, abnormal blood vessels connections form in the placenta and cause blood so start flowing unevenly between the babies. This leads to one twin becoming dehydrated and not producing enough urine which results in a low level of amniotic fluid and poor fetal growth. The other twin, however, is overwhelmed by too much fluid resulting in too much urine, an enlarged bladder and excess amniotic fluid. The excess fluid strains the twin’s heart and can result in high blood pressure and heart failure. Twin-twin transfer syndrome can be fatal for both twins without specialized treatment that sometimes requires fetal surgery.

The prognosis for Heather Garrity’s twins was so grim that doctors advised her to terminate her pregnancy and abort the twins. Garrity refused and gave birth to two boys, Ethan and Dominic. The two boys overcame their early brush with death and have grown into accomplished young men. The eighteen year old twins are both on the football team at Nevada Union High School and will be graduating at the top of their class. Their football coach, Scott Wheeler, commented, “[The twins] are about as impressive as you can get, both 5.0 students. As many [colleges] as they’ve gotten into, and the list is amazing, they remain two of the most humble high school students I’ve met.”

The twins’ own comments support Wheeler’s assessment. The two boys credit their success to hard work, luck and a whole lot of support. “Throughout our lives and throughout adversity, we’ve had a very strong support system,” said Dominic. “We’re very grateful for that.”

That support system has seen the twins accepted into some very impressive colleges. Ethan’s top five schools include the Air Force Academy, Dartmouth and UC-Berkley while Dominic favors West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy and Johns Hopkins. Such wild success is about the farthest thing doctors would have expected from a pair of twins facing a terminal diagnosis and a stubborn mother who loved them too much to refuse to give her babies a chance.

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