When Hayden, Hank and Hannah Slater were born 11 weeks early their little bodies had to overcome many obstacles. The triplets were born at St. Vincent Hospital at only 29 weeks. They suffered from Pulmonary Interstitial Emphysema, PIE, which is a medical condition common in preemies where their lungs are not fully developed. They also had to be placed in an incubator to protect them from injury and infection.
Amanda Slater, their mother, said the triplets were in the hospital for 79 days. Hayden was 2 pounds, 13 ounces, Hank was 2 pounds, 12 ounces and Hannah was 2 pounds, 2 ounces. Slater said even though Hannah was the smallest, she didn't have as many health problems. The hospital staff was constantly monitoring the status of the triplets and all three were on ventilators. When Hayden was 3-days-old his lung collapsed, she said, and Hannah had a level two bleeding in her brain. Her bleeding increased to level three, before it disintegrated. Slater said it was extremely hard to see her babies like they were. She said people don't realize that infant mortality in high in preemies.
"Some women take for granted the fact that they get to take their babies home," she said. "St. Vincent calls the triplets 'tiny successes,' and we are blessed, but some families are not so lucky."
Slater said her family decided to get involved with the March of Dimes in 2005 to give back for all the help they received. While the babies where in the hospital, Slater said more than one family walked for them.
"We want to help others," she said. "We want to give back. If you ask the triplets they will say we walk for babies."
The family raised more than $4,000 last year for the March of Dimes, beating some businesses. Slater said the family is honored that Hayden, Hank and Hannah will be ambassadors. She said they would be there at 8 a.m., Saturday, to tell their story, because that is a part of being an ambassador.
The March for Babies will start at Indiana State University Memorial Stadium.
Sign in starts at 7:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 8:30 a.m.