A nurse from Minnesota has become a mother to two twin boys with a rare genetic condition.
Linda Trepanier is a 58-year-old woman who has fostered 16 children over many years, as well as having three biological children. She also has three adopted kids — and three grandchildren. With all those kids as well as many years of working as a nurse, she has plenty of experience in childcare. But she’s never had an experience like this.
When twins Marshall and Matthew were born, it was confirmed that they had Pfeiffer syndrome.
This genetic condition causes skull and limb deformity. The boys have a lot of special needs, including breathing issues.
But Child Protective Services deemed that their parents weren’t fit to provide proper care before they left the hospital. The twins were placed into foster care at the age of four months — with Trepanier.
Pfeiffer Syndrome causes the skull to fuse prematurely, which means that it can’t expand as the brain grows.
This is why infants have fontanelles, or soft spots, which allows their heads to grow. The condition means that the twins need to use wheelchairs, breathing assistance, and require constant care.
Trepanier says people make comments to her about how she should focus on retiring not giving full-time care to twins with special needs. But Trepanier loves the boys and says that they have fun together, even though caring for them is a lot of work.
“When I first saw the twins, I thought they were the most adorable babies I’ve ever seen,” said Trepanier.
“They had big heads and tiny bodies. As soon as I saw them, I fell in love. I knew in myself that these boys were mine.”
When social services approached her about adoption, they only asked if she would adopt one boy. But Trepanier couldn’t bear the thought of separating the brothers. So, she adopted both of them, with the process finalized when the boys were three.
Now, she’s prepared to settle in for the long haul with them.
The boys’ care includes taking their temperature every few hours and monitoring their breathing tubes. But Trepanier — now their mom — is hopeful that with enough care and love, they will one day be able to live independent, happy lives. In the meantime, she’s completely dedicated to taking care of them.
“I feel blessed that I can make the lives of these children better,” said Trepanier. “It’s a really hard job but seeing them happy makes me happy too.”
The twins have had at least three surgeries on their skulls.
They are also vulnerable to infection, so Trepanier and her partner have to be extremely diligent in caring for them. But they don’t care.
“I just fell in love with them. I knew in my heart that they were my boys,” Trepanier said. “People struggle to understand. They say, ‘Oh, those kids are going to tie you down.'”
She says that the boys love each other and make one another laugh and that they capture hearts wherever they go.
For the twins’ new parents, they might be a lot of work but they’re completely worth it.
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