The triplet community is a close-knit community, both online and in real life. There just aren't that many of us, so we tend to stick together. So when tragedy hits a triplet family, we all feel it whether we know the family personally or not.
Today, tragedy struck a family I know well, and I am truly heartbroken for this family who has already been through so much. My good friend, A, has 28 month old triplet boys. She fought so hard to have those boys, suffered a tremendously difficult miscarriage, a difficult journey through infertility, and finally got pregnant with these beautiful triplets. She was on complete bed rest for most of the pregnancy, and literally nearly died while delivering them. Suffice it to say, she's had more than her share of suffering in this world.
Today, her nanny put her boys down for a nap as always, and went out to the back porch to get a breath of fresh air, only to discover that the porch was engulfed in flames. She alerted the boys' father, who was home, and ran upstairs to get the boys out of their cribs. Unfortunately, by that time, the fire had spread too far, and the nanny, the boys, and the father were trapped in the house. Firefighters rushed to the scene and were able to get them out of the house, but had some difficulty getting the boys out of the cribs because of the crib tents.
The father was treated for inhalation injuries and minor burns and sent to a local hospital. The triplets were rushed to Children's Hospital for inhalation injuries. Though most news stories reported that the boys were in critical condition and suffered serious burns (2nd and 3rd degree), my understanding, from more reliable sources) is that the boys did NOT suffer serious burns and are in serious, but NOT critical condition. UPDATE: The boys suffered severe inhalation injuries and have been intubated and sedated. They are in critical condition, but did not suffer any burn injuries. They are expected to spend at least a week to 10 days in the hospital.
The house is completely destroyed. It took over 75 firefighters to put the fire out. They still don't know what started the fire.
AS, the mother, was in Philadelphia today, but obviously has rushed back to be with her husband and children. She is obviously so lucky that her husband and children should be okay, but this is an incredibly traumatic experience to have to go through, particularly so close to the holidays.
It astounds me how quickly the triplet community rallied around the family to help them. Not just the triplet community, but the multiples community in general, actually. I was first alerted to the situation by the President of the Parents of Multiples Club that I am on the board for. Shortly thereafter, I got an email from my triplets group. By then, AS had already been offered a place to stay, another triplet mom was at the hospital with the family, and we were working together to see what the family needed.
Mostly what the family needs right this instant is thoughts and prayers. But soon, they will need clothes and toys and books for the children (not to mention themselves). They have lost everything, really. Everything. I've already gotten a couple offers of things from other triplet moms from further out who are going to give me some things to give to AS, and I am sure there will be more offers. I know that another difficult aspect of this is that this is coming so close to the holidays, and I have no idea what this will mean for their Christmas celebrations. Hopefully, we'll be able to rally around to help them with that as well.
I am heartbroken for them, but so proud of the community I belong to now. We really do take care of each other. My thoughts and prayers are with AS and her family tonight.