This moving story says a whole lot about how much power and energy we possess … and can share. It all began with a nurse’s common sense. She is the reason why many children are alive today and that she is perhaps the real heroine in all this. This touching sibling story originally came to light about 15 years ago, but I can read it over and over again. Finding stories like this one proving just how powerful love can be is not easy.
Everything started when two twin sisters, Kyrie and Brielle Jackson, were born in a hospital in Massachussets on October 17, 1995. But they did not get the easiest start to life. As they came into the world 12 weeks premature, the twins weighed only a mere one kilogram each.
The twins were placed in separate incubators. Kyrie downloaded forces rapidly and gained weight after the arrival, but the twin sister Brielle had a much more difficult time. She screamed and cried a lot, had difficulty breathing, and was blue in the face.
After a few days, Brielle’s condition was deteriorating. A nurse in the ICU, Gayle Kasparian, did everything to try to help her. She picked her up and held her. She let her father to hold her. She wrapped her in a blanket. She wiped the mucus from her nose and tried to comfort her. Nothing worked.
Gayle then remembered something she’d once heard of in Europe. It was really against hospital policy and rules, but Gayle was so heartbroken that she decided to give it a chance. She placed tiny Brielle in the same incubator as twin sister Kyrie. Almost immediately Brielle snuggled up to Kyrie.
Brielle appallingly bad condition soared. She began to breathe easier. Her incessant crying stopped and she regained a healthy color quickly. In the following weeks, Brielle’s condition steadily improved. As long as she remained laying next to Kyrie.
A photographer from a local paper caught a very special moment shared between the twin sisters– a photo that would be iconic for years to come.
Together, the newborns broke through the tough start in life. They grew up to be healthy preschoolers. The picture of the twins embracing in the incubator had received significant media attention. The picture later spread like wildfire on the internet and has previously ended up on the cover of Life and Reader’s Digest. The media attention on parents Heidi and Paul Jackson became so great that at some point they changed their phone number. Absolutely everyone wanted to follow the twins’ development.
It was the first time the hospital had attempted such a thing and Gayle Kasparian was praised for her common sense, which led to saving the baby girl. Of course you should not separate twins, thought Gayle. Exactly!
The event changed the hospitals guidelines on twin births and clinical studies have shown that there are clear health benefits of placing the twins in the same bed. The famous hug has helped to save lives and changed the way you treat premature twins.
Together, we are stronger.
20 years have goen by since that magical moment. Here are Kyrie and Brielle today.
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