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Tampa Bay parents need help bringing preemie twins home from Utah


PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Two local parents are stuck in the Bay Area while their premature babies remain in the NICU in Utah. Their biggest challenge in getting their children home: COVID-19.

Born to a surrogate mother, these babies are still fighting for their lives, but with all their medical complications getting them to Florida will take an angel with private wings.

For the longest time, the family business was Alison Herman’s baby, She helped her mother grow Larry’s Ice Cream into the hot spot for cold treats in St. Pete Beach. Then she and her husband, John Waterman, got some real babies. David Finley and Sydney Elyse were born to a surrogate mother in Utah.

“I was actually in line at the bank and I had just given my license and I was like, I’ll be right back and I had to pull over,” said Waterman about watching his kids’ birth thanks to technology.

These little miracles came more than two months early with mom and dad watching their birth on their phones.

Weighing between 2 and 3 pounds mom and dad visited St. George a couple times, but now they can’t travel seeing as they live in the hotbed for coronavirus cases; Florida.

“I didn’t expect us to have another spike and it seems like it’s worse now than it was a couple of months ago,” said Herman.

“People complain about having to do this (wear a mask), but imagine if everything could wipe you out. You’re like this big. So that’s what we’re dealing with,” said Waterman.

That makes traveling home to Tampa Bay impossible by commercial air. Traveling by car more than 35 hours presents different challenges for the twins after they leave the NICU.

“If we could get a private flight somehow from St. George, UT to Tampa Bay that would be great,” said Waterman.

That flight could take as little as 5 hours if a kind soul wouldn’t mind playing stork for these new parents.

The parents are on standby for now, waiting for doctor’s to say their babies can go home. Even if they can get someone to help fly their babies here in a safe and timely manner, they still have a long road ahead of them getting healthy and strong. That shouldn’t be a problem. Dad says they’re fighters.


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