22 Years ago, in Worcester, Massachusetts, one mom went into early labor with twins, an astonishing 12 weeks early. When the young mother arrived at the hospital, she was suffering from labor complications. She knew she wasn’t due for another three months, however, her pain was telling her otherwise.
The young mother-to-be and her husband were beyond excited for the arrival of their baby girls, which they had already named Brielle and Kyrie. Anxiously awaiting their newest little ones, the two young parents were busy getting their home set up when, one day, mama started experiencing unusual pain.
When the Jacksons reached the emergency room, nurses confirmed that mom was in labor, and there definitely would be two babies making their way into the world much sooner than expected. After a quick and somewhat uneventful labor, the two babies were born. All things considered, both girls were healthy. In 1995, 12-week premature babies were extremely rare, so the birth of these early-arrivals was quite spectacular news within the medical community.
For the first three weeks of their lives, the girls were living in incubators. Just weeks after their early arrival, one of the twins began to experience breathing problems. Doctors noticed that her airwaves were having difficulty staying open and her oxygen levels were dropping rapidly. Before nurses could get her hooked up to oxygen that was small enough for her tiny body, the baby started to turn blue.
Not having any experience with babies this young, nurses struggled for the next step. They were in complete disarray and had no clue of what to do next. That’s when one nurse took a gamble with a technique that she had only heard rumors of - The Rescuing Hug.
The young nurse swiftly moved the weaker baby into the same incubator as her stronger sister. She situated them next to each other and placed the stronger twin’s arm over the weaker twin’s, creating a simple-but-mighty embrace. While it seemed like a small and insignificant move, the weaker twin’s vital signs immediately began to rise. This case reinforced the belief that the newborn practice of skin-to-skin contact is actually a necessity that can save lives.
Completely astounded at the results, nurses, doctors, and media caught wind of the miraculous rescue. A photo was taken of the powerful hug that saved tiny Brielle’s life and, within days, the photo had gone viral.
Today, the Rescuing Hug is helping thousands of premature twins thrive during their early days in the NICU, and the sisters who lived this awesome story are thriving to this day. While many might underestimate the power of touch, this act was truly a testament to its power. We are thankful for the nurse who trusted her instincts in this scenario. Touch is absolutely healing!