Broken Arrow Parents Of Twins Share Story Of Hope

Sunday, September 26th 2010, 6:54 pm
By: News On 6

By Lacie Lowry, The News On 6

BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma -- A Broken Arrow couple is sharing their story of hope after receiving a shocking diagnosis.

Their unborn twins suffered from a serious condition more common than sudden infant death syndrome, but relatively unknown to many parents.

Alana and Jarrid Franke feel complete now that their twin sons are home from the hospital. Months ago, Peyton and Liam's future was doubtful.

"Our world just kind of fell apart for a second," said Alana Franke, mother of twin boys.

The Frankes found out at 17 weeks that the boys had Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome. It occurs in identical twin pregnancies, when one twin gives the other twin all of the nutrition.

"The one that is receiving all the fluid has a lot of stress on their heart, and they start to go into heart failure," said Jarrid Franke, father of the twins.

"The one that's not receiving enough starts to have organ shutdown."

If left untreated, 98 percent of twins with TTTS will not survive. A laser procedure done in utero can usually correct it. The Frankes had to go to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston.

The hospital has created an educational video about the condition.

"Supposed to have the surgery the next day, but as they were doing the ultrasounds, the doctors both rushed in kind of interrupted the office visit and said 'no, we've got to do this now. They can't make it 'till tomorrow,'" Alana said.

The surgery was successful.

Alana went on bed rest for the last six months of her pregnancy, and doctors induced her at 36 weeks.

Peyton and Liam each weighed 5 pounds.

"They weren't supposed to make it, but thanks to all the efforts of the doctors, it's really a miracle," Jarrid said.

Alana, Jarrid and big sister Abby are adjusting to life as a family of five. They want others to know that TTTS is treatable.

"That if you get it, there's still hope," said Alana Franke, mother of twins with Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome. "It's amazing what they can do, what the doctors can do."

The Frankes got a lot of support from other parents dealing with Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome through a website that also offers more facts about the condition.