Believe in miracles

Published: June 5, 2008 | 7142nd good news item since 2003

Dan and Suzanne Isidor, of State College, were surprised but thrilled to learn almost three years ago that Suzanne was pregnant with twins.

Then came the worrying news. Nineteen weeks into

the pregnancy, they were told it would be a high-risk pregnancy. The fetuses were situated in a way that one of the children might not survive the birth.

The news hit hard. Then, one

evening, they decided to watch the Children’s Miracle Network telethon. And it gave them hope.

“When you hear the news about something like this, you think that you are all alone, but you’re not,” Dan Isidor said. “There is a network of support — financially and emotionally.”

Now the parents of healthy 2-year-old twins, Luke and Evan, and a 4-year-old son, Jackson, the Isidors will be one of the families featured on the Children’s Miracle Network Celebration telethon. It will air from 9 p.m. to midnight today and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday on WTAJ, the local CBS affiliate.

Proceeds from the telethon will benefit Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville, where the Isidor twins were born, and health care providers in State College, Altoona, DuBois and other Pennsylvania locations.

The telethon, the Isidors said, helped them realize they weren’t the only parents dealing with high-risk pregnancies or premature births. It’s also where they saw other parents’ success stories.

“We had never watched it before,” Suzanne Isidor said of the telethon. “The stories were so touching that we even donated money.”

Children’s Miracle Network requests donations annually through fundraisers to help children like the Isidor twins. Since 1984, Children’s Miracle Network has raised more than $36 million throughout the Geisinger Health System.

Telethon donations have helped Geisinger provide state-of-the-art pediatric care by funding support services, programs and pediatric equipment, said Jennifer M. Young, spokeswoman for Geisinger Health System and Children’s Miracle Network at Geisinger.

Types of equipment purchased with telethon donations include tele-echo equipment, used to transmit echo-cardiogram results immediately to a specialist, and Isolette incubators, used to transport neonatal patients by helicopter.

Vital signs monitors were one piece of equipment purchased with telethon funds that were used to help the Isidor twins survive.

Born prematurely in the 30th week of Suzanne Isidor’s pregnancy, the twins were delivered by Caesarean section. Luke weighed 2 pounds, 4 ounces. Evan weighed 3 pounds, 1 ounce.

The babies had to stay in Geisinger’s neonatal unit at the hospital. For weeks after Suzanne Isidor was discharged, she and her husband made countless trips between their State College home and Danville. Much of the time, she made the trip alone while her husband stayed home to go to work and take care of Jackson.

“It was hard when we had to leave them there,” Suzanne Isidor said, recalling the fragile twins as each being about the length of a Barbie doll. “Jackson didn’t understand when I didn’t come home with a baby.”

Family, friends and support groups associated with Children’s Miracle Network helped the Isidors through the rough times.

The Isidors often stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Danville, sparing them the expense of hotel rooms.

Evan came home after five weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit. Luke came home two weeks later.

The Isidors are now advocates for Children’s Miracle Network, saying the twins are living proof of the good the telethon does.

“The money goes to a great cause,” Suzanne Isidor said, holding Evan in her arms. “Obviously, it’s a cause that goes straight to our hearts.”

Published in Motherhood
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