Like it was yesterday: A grateful NICU mother honors her twins each year through giving
Susan Heninger remembers everything about the experience of delivering her twins, Andrew and Laura, at Emanate Health Queen of the Valley Hospital in November 1978. From the movie her and her husband, Greg, watched on the hospital television (The Poseidon Adventure) to the names of their doctors (Estella Pacificar, M.D., Joel Streng, M.D., Robert Neuenschwander, M.D. and Michael Lo, M.D.), to the time on the clock when the nursing staff transported her to the delivery room (just after midnight), she vividly recalls many details more than four decades later.
Though her original due date was just before New Year’s, “the twins changed the story,” Susan said with a smile. After less than three hours of labor, Andrew arrived first, weighing 3 lbs., 6 oz.; Laura followed eight minutes later at just under 3 lbs. The infants spent five weeks in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), each growing to the 5 lb. milestone before being discharged home. Each day, Susan visited her children in the morning and then returned in the evening with Greg (who was also a preemie, with the same birth weight as his daughter) after his day at Workman High School, where the couple both taught. “It felt so good to hold them outside the isolettes in our yellow gowns,” she remembered. Throughout the experience, Susan felt the doctors and nurses kept them well-informed and provided loving support. “I felt confident we were getting very good care and that they all knew what they were doing,” she reflected.
After Andrew and Laura graduated from college in 2000, Susan wanted to “do something on a regular basis to honor them” and decided to make her first gift to the NICU to commemorate their birthday. Each year since, Susan has continued this annual “tradition,” one that is deeply meaningful to her and her family. “Giving even a little financial support to an organization that I admire is a worthwhile thing to do,” she shared. “It feels important to me and like I am supporting something bigger than myself.”
To make a gift that honors someone special in your life like Susan Heninger has for her children, visit www.emanatehealth.org/give or call 626.813.2421.
Susan Heninger and her twins, Andrew and Laura, at an
Emanate Health Queen of the Valley Hospital NICU reunion (photo courtesy of Susan Heninger)
The Heninger family visits Dublin in 2001 (left to right):
Susan, Laura, Greg and Andrew (photo courtesy of Susan Heninger)