In August of 2012, Lisa Pizzi was pregnant with twins. She and her husband Eric knew a twin pregnancy came with extra risks, but Lisa’s pregnancy had been wonderful.
“We visited the hospital at 9 a.m. for what I thought would be a 10-minute appointment for high blood pressure. The maternal and fetal medicine (high-risk pregnancy) doctors rushed me upstairs to labor and delivery. I didn’t leave the hospital for 12 days,” says Lisa.
Lisa had developed HELLP Syndrome, a rare but life-threating liver disorder. Related to high blood pressure during pregnancy, the syndrome occurs in 0.1 percent of all pregnancies. The doctors gave Lisa steroid injections to help develop her twins’ premature lungs.
“Scarlett and Grayson were delivered in an emergency cesarean section. I spent the next 24 hours in an ice bath with a magnesium drip, worried I might not survive the night,” says Lisa.
While Lisa was being treated, Scarlett and Grayson were immediately brought to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which provides Level III care for premature and seriously-ill babies.
Advanced, Compassionate Care
After the birth of their two children, Lisa and Eric returned to the NICU every day for several months. Scarlett stayed in the NICU for 54 days, Grayson stayed for 103 days. Since they couldn’t bring their babies home, they brought their home to their babies by decorating the hospital rooms with family pictures.
“It wasn’t how we had planned to have our kids, but we connected with so many wonderful people in the NICU, and came out of the experience with life-long friends. The NICU staff truly became part of our family,” says Lisa, who now serves as the Chair of the NICU Parent Advisory Board.
One cherished member they consider family is Dr. Michael Prendergast, their neonatologist, and the medical co-director of the NICU. The night Dr. Prendergast helped deliver Lisa’s children, it was his first night on call. He was steady, calm and skillful.
Throughout the twin’s time in the NICU, they received care from a dedicated team that included nurses, pediatric specialists, family support and representatives – all dedicated to meeting the needs of the twins and their parents.
Happy Ending is Truly the Beginning
Several months after the delivery, Lisa and Eric brought Scarlett and Grayson home and started their life together. They are now healthy five-and-a-half-year-olds. They perform occupational therapy and physical therapy twice a week, but aren’t limited in any kindergarten activities, including rolling around in the April mud at their farm school.
Celebrating the Compassionate Care
To celebrate the compassionate care, she and her twins received, Lisa became co-chair of The Great Brigham Playdate-the Brigham’s signature event featuring a night of grown-up fun to benefit the NICU, Department of Newborn Medicine, and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Please join us on October 5, 2019, as we take over the Boston Children’s Museum, where you can explore exhibits, play games, eat local favorites, and dance the night away all to benefit our youngest patients.
Time is running out–buy your tickets today.