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Tignish planning benefit for premature twins, family

Twins Brennan, left, and Liam have been receiving extensive medical care in Halifax since their early arrival on August 27. A benefit night in support of the entire family is sent for Sunday at Tignish Parish Centre.
Twins Brennan, left, and Liam have been receiving extensive medical care in Halifax since their early arrival on August 27. A benefit night in support of the entire family is sent for Sunday at Tignish Parish Centre. - Submitted

Brennan, Liam born August 27 still receiving intensive care in Halifax

TIGNISH

By the time they reached their normal due date on Nov. 19, twins Liam and Brennan had already received more medical care than most adults require in their entire lives.

The infant sons of Brodie Callaghan and Kaitlyn Isaacs were delivered by emergency cesarean section at the IWK Children’s Hospital on Aug. 27. Their parents and their two year-old brother, Oliver (Ollie), had been in Halifax since July 24 awaiting their birth.

Liam weighed two pounds 11 ounces at birth, five ounces heavier than his brother.

Brodie is from Tignish, P.E.I. and Kaitlyn is from Amherst, NS. They live in Stratford, P.E.I.

Medical care has continued to be extensive since the twins’ arrival. It started with Brennan, said the boys’ father. His lungs had stopped maturing around the time complications with the pregnancy were confirmed in July.

“What happened was, he was born with lungs that were very, very premature.

He, honestly, just last week, got off of oxygen support.”

“Liam was doing great until about 10 days in and then he picked up an infection and that turned into meningitis,” Dad said in describing the twins’ struggles.

“They kind of swapped: For the first 10 days Brennan was in very bad shape and it was very scary, for lack of a better term, and Liam kind of cruised until he got sick, and then it was about that point that Brennan turned the corner and kind of made his slow recovery,” Dad reflected.

Dad described the abscess that grew in Liam’s brain as “substantial.“ A strong dose of antibiotics will continue at least until specialists get another look at Liam’s brain in January.

Medical specialists are considering whether Liam, can be transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for a while prior to the next brain scan. Otherwise, the whole family will be staying in Halifax until then.

Brodie has made a few quick trips back home to make changes to their Stratford home in preparation for the twins’ release. He had taken some time off in July to get a start on preparations he thought he’d have up to four months to complete, but it was on the very day he was to start converting a spare room into a nursery that the family got rushed to Halifax.

“Our two year-old has been with us ever since July when we got here, and he is a trooper,” Brodie reported from Halifax.

Brodie’s mother, Irene, was also in Halifax with them until last week.

“Everybody. We’ve had so much support, it’s incredible, really,” Dad said.

The extended stay in Halifax has been both emotionally and financially taxing on the young family.

There has been a GoFundMe campaign started http://https-//www.gofundme.com/liam-and-brennan-nicu-warriors and now friends and neighbours from Brodie’s native community of Tignish have come together to organize a music night in support of the family.

The music night will be held at the Tignish Parish Centre this Sunday, Nov. 26, at 7 p.m.

Musicians include Kurk Bernard, Joey Doucette, Brayden MacGuigan, Daniel Drouin, Rodney Arsenault and Abby Peters. There will also be skits, a silent auction and a 50-50 draw.

“It’s definitely ‘community’ said June Gaudet, one of the organizers of Sunday’s event, in noting many people have come forward to help make the event possible.

“It’s really just been incredible the way everybody is showing support,” said Brodie. “It makes you really proud to call a little community like that your home.”

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