In October, Kim Thomas was terrified to learn her cervix was 4 centimeters dilated at just 21 weeks pregnant with twins, indicating to doctors Thomas was going into labor.
“I was just scared,” Thomas recounted to Good Morning America.
Twins Kimyah and DJ are two of the youngest twins ever to survive premature birth at the Cleveland Clinic. ❤️https://t.co/3CuEyLqZYP
— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 15, 2023
Thomas’ medical team at the Cleveland Clinic told the outlet they did everything they could to keep her labor at bay, as she was only halfway through her pregnancy. They were highly concerned about the babies’ wellbeing.
“The odds of survival is very low,” Dr. Firas Saker, medical director of the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Hillcrest Hospital, explained to GMA.
Thomas’ labor persisted, and on Oct. 12, 2022, at just 22 weeks and one day, Kimyah and DJ were born. They were so small they could fit into the palm of an adult’s hand, weighing less than a pound. The Cleveland Clinic Children’s staff told Good Morning America they had never treated babies as small as Kimyah and DJ. The youngest premature twins to survive in history were one day younger than Kimyah and DJ. According to the Guinness World Records, those babies were born just a few months before Thomas’ babies, in March 2022.
Kimyah and DJ immediately went to the neonatal intensive care unit shortly after birth. Doctors told Thomas and the twins’ father, Damante Jackson, to prepare for the worst.
“They said even if they do survive, it’s not likely they’d make it the first three days,” Jackson told Good Morning America.
Thomas said that while the twins aren’t likely to remember their harrowing birth, it was “hard for them.”
The road to recovery wasn’t smooth sailing for the twins, who had to battle several health issues. During their first months, they suffered from a collapsed lung and a brain bleed, but their family never gave up on them.
“Almost New Year’s , we were like, ‘OK, we got this. That’s when they finally got to meet each other,'” Thomas said.
Thomas and Jackson finally got the green light to bring their twins home on Feb. 27 after spending 138 days in the neonatal unit. They’re officially the youngest surviving premature twins born at the Cleveland Clinic.
“Everyone showed up … every doctor that worked on them, pretty much all the nurses that were there,” Thomas told Good Morning America, reflecting on a day she will remember forever.
Kimyah and DJ are healthy, happy and gearing up to turn 1 next month.