By Courtney Cole, WBZ-TV
BOSTON - Health care workers are a special group of people who have dedicated themselves, day in and day out, to saving and improving the quality of our lives.
A local family wants to make sure the NICU team at Brigham and Women's Hospital knows the care they received is beyond any level of gratitude they could ever express.
New parents Tejal Patel and Sean Laporta said the team at Brigham and Women's helped them navigate the most challenging three months of their lives.
"This week we started to get some giggles for the first time, so we're really excited about that," said Tejal Patel.
"Rahm was the giggler, and it was just during a bath time, out of the blue!" Sean Laporta said with a smile.
Patel and Laporta are loving and learning the joys of being new parents.
"Yogi is my little chatterbox! He's just like always communicating with you, babbling away. You can sense that he's like — I just want to tell you everything! Let me tell you about my day," Patel continued, "And then Rahm is like my physical baby. He's not as chatty, but he is moving! You can see that he wants to crawl. He's getting there."
The journey to get them home is what really makes Rahm and Yogi's homecoming so special.
"Our twins were in the NICU; one of them was for about two months, and one was there for three months," Patel said.
She gave birth at just 32 weeks at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Just days after the birth of their twins, both parents came down with COVID-19 and couldn't visit their newborns for 14 days.
But the NICU team was prepared to make sure Laporta and Patel didn't miss a beat.
"They allowed us to spend, like sometimes an hour, on FaceTime with our kids. And we would just sit there and read to them-- and just giving us updates," Patel told Cole.
"They probably were sick of us reading the same books every time. At the time, we only had a couple books - I think 'Chicka Chicka Boom Boom' was read a lot," Laporta said as he looked over at Patel.
" 'Click Clack Moo' Made a lot of appearances," Patel added.
"One of the absolute joys of my job is coming into work every day and seeing the progress of these babies," said Brigham and Women's NICU Medical Director Dr. Elisa Abdulhayoglu. Dr. Abdulhayoglu said she's honored to work with such a dedicated team.
"They were constantly checking in. For three months, they were essentially our family," Patel said.
"They were amazing. They clearly loved their babies. They advocated for them in a truly compassionate and compelling way and it just empowered the entire staff," said Dr. Abdulhayoglu.
As a twin who was also born early, Laporta said the care they received as a family is truly something he will never forget.
"I honestly want to say thank you, and as hokey as it may sound, I love each and every one of them," Laporta said, with gratefulness that was palpable.
"They were like the silver lining in that whole experience. Without them, this experience would've been darker than it was. They were completely integral to the entire experience. Thank you," Patel said with a genuinely appreciative spirit.
for more features.