On Friday, May 5, Zachary and Kylie Bretz returned to the place they called home for the early months of their lives – the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital. This time it was to support their grandmother, Barbara Vanett, with her initiative of giving back to the NICU that saved her twin grandchildren’s lives a decade ago.
Zachary and Kylie were born prematurely at 25 weeks with a combined birth weight of less than 3 pounds. Their lungs were not yet developed, requiring the doctors at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital to take lifesaving measures to keep them alive. Kylie spent 72 days in the NICU before her parents could bring her home. For Zachary, it took 90 days before he was released from the NICU, and he required an oxygen machine until he was 7 months old.
Today, the Bretz twins are thriving socially, academically and athletically, making it hard to believe Zachary and Kylie began their lives in critical condition. However, Vanett hasn’t forgotten the lifesaving treatment her grandchildren received at the Children’s Hospital NICU. That’s why Vanett invites the community to join her in supporting the Level IV NICU at the Children’s Hospital, as a way of celebrating the twins’ 10th birthday.