(May 4, 2011) - Three-year-old twins Stephen and Matthew Huffman
of Savannah have been selected to represent the state of Georgia in
the Champions Across America program sponsored by Children's
Miracle Network Hospitals. As Georgia's Champions, Stephen and
Matthew will serve as ambassadors for the millions of children like
them who are treated each year at children's hospitals across
America. This year's local telethon will be on Saturday, June 4,
from 12 noon to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on CBS affiliate WTOC
The twins' parents, Tim and Dana Huffman, were told that they
would never be able to conceive, so they were overjoyed to learn
they were pregnant with twins. That joy was cut short when, four
months before her due date, Dana went into labor. Stephen and
Matthew came into the world at 24 weeks gestation, each weighing
less than one-and-a-half pounds. The family was in for the fight
for their lives.
The tiny babies faced a host of medical problems. Both were
anemic and needed multiple blood transfusions. Their organs were
not fully developed - especially their vulnerable lungs and eyes.
Both babies suffered ventricular brain bleeds. Stephen's was
categorized as a II and Matthew's a IV, which is considered
catastrophic. Doctors told the Huffmans the boys would face
life-long health and developmental problems, and that Matthew may
never walk or speak.
The little boys were fighters. After three months in the
neonatal intensive care nursery at Memorial University Medical
Center, they finally went home. Now toddlers, you would never guess
all that they had gone through. Today, Stephen and Matthew are
active little boys and keep their parents constantly on the move.
They are truly miracles.
The twins and their family will travel to Washington, D.C., and
then to Orlando, to represent The Children's Hospital at Memorial
University Medical Center. While in Washington, D.C., the family
will tour the nation's capitol, meet with lawmakers, and tour the
White House. In Orlando, Stephen and Matthew will visit Walt Disney
World and meet with national sponsors and the other state
ambassadors from across North America.
The Champions Across America program was created to raise
awareness of children's hospitals and the 17 million children
treated in them each year. The Children's Hospital at Memorial
University Medical Center is one of 170 Children's Miracle Network
hospitals dedicated to the treatment of sick and injured
Memorial University Medical Center is a two-state healthcare
organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and
southern South Carolina. The system includes its flagship hospital,
a 530-bed academic medical center; Memorial primary
and specialty care physician networks; a major medical
education program; business and
industry services; and NurseOne,
a 24-hour call center. You can follow us at facebook.com/memorialhealth, twitter.com/mymemorial, and youtube.com/memorialhealth.