Florence preemies born during hurricane are 'miracle babies'

Florence preemies born during hurricane are 'miracle babies'

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - South Carolina was hit by a devastating hurricane in October 2016 that many are still recovering from.

Through it rose the resilience of families who lost it all and the compassion of communities coming together to help.

Two miracle babies, 6-month-old Carson and Reagan, were also born when Hurricane Matthew hit.

"She is a gem, a momma's girl, ornery sometimes, says Danielle Valloric, the twins' mother. "This boy right here doesn't see a stranger; he's easygoing."

Danielle and Jay Valloric are a busy family. Jay works six days a week, sometimes 12-hour shifts, as a manager with Harbor Freight Tools. Danielle is a part-time surgical technician at McLeod Hospital. The couple also have a 7-year-old son, Dylan.

In 2009, Dylan was born with complications. The umbilical chord was wrapped around his neck, he didn't initially cry, and was put on a ventilator. He spent the first six days of his life in the neonatal intensive care unit.

So last October, when Danielle found out her twins had stopped growing and she had to be induced four weeks early, it was a scenario the Vallorics  knew all too well and one that left them uneasy.

"I was a mess. I called my dad, said you need to get here," she said.

To make matters worse, Danielle went into labor during Hurricane Matthew, one of the worst storms to hit South Carolina in more than 20 years.

Oct. 7, 2016 was a scary day for most of the state, let alone for a family pregnant with twins being forced into an emergency-induced labor.

"Our neighborhood was flooded in both entrances to the subdivision. We're completely underwater, the main road was covered in trees," said Jay Valloric, the twins' father.

Reagan was the first to enter the world. She was born at 5:05 p.m. on Oct. 7, 2016, weighing 5 pounds, 1 ounce.

Carson came at 5:07 p.m. and was much smaller. He weighed just 1 pound 5 ounces and, like many preemies, hiss lungs were underdeveloped and he was put on a CPAC machine.

Just like his older brother Dylan, Carson's life started with six days in NICU at McLeod

Every year, an estimated 15 million babies are born preterm, according to the World Health Organization. Complications from those births are the leading cause of death among children under the age of 5.

Sadly, South Carolina has some of the worst rates of preterm babies, with 1 in 10 born too soon.

But today, the Valloric twins have no major health concerns. The family counts their blessings. Carson, Reagan and their older brother Dylan are healthy and thriving.

"They are our miracle babies," said Danielle. "We tried for a very long time to have another baby, so when the hard times get rough, we just look at them and they are our miracle babies."

Miracle babies who this family says they owe a great deal to the March of Dimes organization for helping their children

The organization has been helping babies and mothers since 1938 through research and funding.

"Everything they have developed, I dont believe that everything that they raise money for to research and find things, I don't think Carson or Dylan would be here today," Danielle said.

As a way to give back, the Valloric family has decided to be this year's ambassador family at the Greater Pee Dee March for Babies. The annual event is Saturday, May 6 at the McLoud Health and Fitness Center.

Registration is at 8:30 a.m. The walk begins at 9:30 a.m.

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