A Thanksgiving to Remember: Family Blessed with Birth of Triplets, Mom’s Life Saved after Battling Rare Autoimmune Disorder

Jackson Health System Jan 11,2016

Who

Andrea and Anthony Temperino and their triplets, Ashton, Alexander and Austyn Temperino; Ashok Verma, M.D., D.M., M.B.A., University of Miami/Jackson neurologist and medical director of the Kessenich Family MDA ALS Center; Kristine O’Phelan, M.D., UM/Jackson neurointensivist and chief of the neurocritical care division at The University of Miami Department of Neurology, co- director of the Neuroscience ICU at Jackson Memorial Hospital; Salih Y. Yasin, M.D., UM/Jackson OB/GYN and director of obstetrics and patient safety at Jackson’s Women’s Hospital Center; Shahnaz Duara, M.D., UM/Holtz Children’s Hospital neonatologist and medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at Holtz; Theresa Del Moral, M.D., UM/Holtz neonatologist

What

Five years ago, Andrea and Anthony Temperino were devastated to learn they had a “zero percent chance” of having babies of their own. They’d always dreamed of having a big family, so they wouldn’t take no for an answer. The determined couple sought help from an infertility doctor in Broward whose specialty is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). They made a complete lifestyle change, which included eating only organic foods. It paid off when the Coral Springs couple became the parents to a son 20 months ago. They returned to the doctor earlier this year to continue to grow their family and in June they learned that Andrea, 34, was pregnant again – this time with triplets.

Just weeks after receiving this great news, Andrea began feeling ill. She had trouble swallowing and breathing, was unable to lay flat and felt an odd sensation around her lips. Andrea spent 10 days in intensive care at a community hospital in Broward without a diagnosis before coming to the emergency room at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Within hours, doctors at Jackson determined Andrea was suffering from a rare autoimmune disorder, Myasthenia Gravis with antibodies to muscle specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK), a condition that weakens the muscles and affects swallowing, speech and breathing. Doctors believe Andrea is the first woman pregnant with triplets to be diagnosed with this condition in the United States.

Andrea, who was in extremely critical condition, was admitted to the neurocritical care unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she spent eight days on a ventilator. At one point, Andrea was so ill that she nearly died. But a team of UM/Jackson neurologists treated her and placed her on the appropriate medications. Upon discharge, Andrea was closely followed by a team of UM/Jackson neurologists and OB/GYNs.

On November 1, when Andrea was 30 weeks gestation, she complained of abdominal pain. As a precaution, Andrea came to Jackson for a check-up with her OB/GYN. She was experiencing a placental abruption, a rare, life-threatening pregnancy complication in which the placenta separates from its attachment to the wall of the uterus. Andrea’s life was in jeopardy, as were the lives of her three babies.

Doctors immediately performed an emergency Cesarean Section on Andrea. All three baby boys – Ashton and identical twins Alexander and Austyn – were born within one minute, weighing about three pounds each. A team of University of Miami/Holtz Children’s Hospital neonatologists was in the operating room to immediately care for the babies. The most critical, Ashton, inhaled and ingested blood that collected in his amniotic sac because of the placental abruption. After birth, he required mechanical ventilation and inhaled nitric oxide. The other two babies were stable. All were admitted to the NICU at Holtz, where they remain and will continue to grow for the next few weeks.

Now, more than two weeks later, Andrea and the babies are doing well. Andrea and Anthony say they have a lot to be thankful for and are looking forward to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

“We had all the odds stacked against us,” said Anthony Temperino, a commercial pilot. “But Jackson saved the lives of my wife and babies not once – but twice. Now, we’d never go anywhere else.”

When

November 19, 2012, 1:00 p.m.- 2:00 p.m.

Where

Jackson Memorial Hospital
Ira C. Clark Diagnostic Treatment Center, room 254
Corner of Northwest 12th Avenue and 19th Street
Miami, FL 33136

Why

Andrea, who was in extremely critical condition, was admitted to the neurocritical care unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she spent eight days on a ventilator. At one point, Andrea was so ill that she nearly died. But a team of UM/Jackson neurologists treated her and placed her on the appropriate medications. Upon discharge, Andrea was closely followed by a team of UM/Jackson neurologists and OB/GYNs.

MIRACLES DO HAPPEN

The Multiple Miracles Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to helping those fighting autoimmune diseases. We provide financial assistance, advocacy and information. Based in South Florida we serve families and individuals living in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties.

Limus Design is a customer focused, creative design and development agency specializing in engaging interactive web and mobile solutions that helps organizations grow and succeed. Offering scalable, user friendly CRM solutions for all your needs, from members management to event registrations.