DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- The birth of a set of twins tested the unity of a family and its community after a tough delivery left the mother and her babies separated.
“It was supposed to be an exciting night when Nylah and Novaleigh made their entrance into the world.
After the first was born, the only worry was if the girls would have the same birthday.
“The nurse and I who were in there actually kept looking at towards the clock because she had like three minutes before they were going to have different birthdays,” says the twin’s grandmother Wendy Creekbaum.
The second made the deadline and shortly after things took a sharp turn.
“Then Stephanie just collapsed. From there we had no idea that her heart was giving out on her,” says Creekbaum.
After a day in ICU Stephanie was life-flighted to Orlando.
Stephanie's parents were by her side at the hospital.
The other set of grandparents took the twins home.
When Mandy Booth, the founder of the Preemie Project of Dothan, heard Stephanie’s story she donated a crib, clothes, formula, bottles, diapers and wipes for the twins.
“We didn't have a lot of what she was going to need so Mandy and the Preemie Project were lifesavers for us,” says Creekbaum.
Mandy booth started the organization in 2016 when her daughter birthed a three-pound baby.
While her daughter was in the hospital, Mandy struggled to find clothes to fit the preemie.
Now she invites mothers in the same situation to shop for preemie necessities free of charge.
Not only does it help families who are unprepared it also relieves parents of the stress NICU brings.
You're not able to hold your baby. You're not able to smell your baby. You're not able to barely touch your baby except through those little holes. So we take that stress off. We make it a little bit easier. It's not a lot but it's a little bit and every little bit counts,” says Booth.
The Preemie Project is always in need of donations. Mandy says she spending out of pockets to ensure she can help everyone in need.
As for Stephanie, she's now in a Tampa hospital where she will remain for the next two weeks for intensive physical therapy.
In the meantime, she talks to the twins and her 3-year-old Riker every day on video chat.
Click here to donate to Stephanie's medical and travel expenses.
Click here to donate to the Preemie Project of Dothan.