Their daughter, Caitlin, was born eight weeks premature and went through six weeks of special care at the hospital before she was able to come home.
The Rome couple was able to see first-hand the research and breakthroughs developed through the funding provided by the March of Dimes.
Brian Barcomb, chairman for the 2013 Floyd County March for Babies walk, introduced the Twilleys as this year’s ambassador family during a kick-off event Thursday at the Rome Civic Center.
Caitlin was born after Torrie Twilley became sick and was admitted to the hospital with preeclampsia, a condition where pregnant women develop high blood pressure.
“When Caitlin was born she went straight to the NICU and was on oxygen for a week,” Torrie Twilley said, referring to the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. “We couldn’t touch her or hold her.”
Caitlin weighed three pounds and 1.8 ounces when she was born and her mother said it was a situation where “she just needed to grow.”
“She fought from the start,” Torrie Twilley said. “She was moved from NICU to the intermediate nursery after just a week, which is quick for a baby that was only 31 weeks (developed).”
After six weeks, Caitlin was able to go home. She is now 10 years old and in the fourth grade at Johnson Elementary School. She is a big sister to her 6-year-old brother, Isaac.
“We had some setbacks,” Torrie Twilley said. “But through what the March of Dimes has done and by the grace of God, she was able to pull through and we’ve had no problems since.”
The March of Dimes has been working for 75 years to give every baby born a fighting chance at a healthy life, but the job is not done.
Local community members let it be known Thursday that they are prepared to do their part.
Helping to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the creation of the March of Dimes, the Floyd County March for Babies walk will take place May 4 at Berry College. Registration will start at 8 a.m., and the walk will begin at 9 a.m.
Thursday’s event saw corporate as well as family teams get their materials and a reminder for why they help raise money for the organization.
For more information on how to be involved in the Floyd County March for Babies, call 706-844-4543 or visit www.marchforbabies.org.