Genesee County, N.Y. – Love is what brought John and Diana Walther together, turning two into one.
But it was luck that turned what the couple thought be one, into two.
This past spring, Diana found out she was carrying twins.
“There was a scare factor, but we liked the challenge,” Diana said.
Then came a challenge beyond their imagining.
In early July, just 26 weeks into the pregnancy, the Walthers thought they could easily get in one more trip.
With their doctor’s approval they took off from their home in Oakfield and drove down to North Carolina to visit family.
On Friday the 13th, an hour away from a hospital, Diana’s water broke.
They arrived at the hospital in time for doctors to successfully perform an emergency C-section.
“Words cannot describe how tiny they were,” Diana said. “They survived the first week and were getting bigger and strong.”
Eventually, Isabella and Mason were big enough and strong enough to travel home, but a car or regular plane would not do.
The family needed a special medical flight that was not cheap, nor was it covered by insurance.
By then, the wheels of generosity were turning at Cal-Mum and Byron Bergen School Districts, where the Walthers worked.
“Teachers I (and Diana) worked with, the sports teams, the kids, were all doing things,” John said. “Really, the whole community came together to bring them home for us.”
Home, for now, meant the NICU at Golisano Children’s Hospital.
It was here Diana could be seen at all hours.
“She was through all of it,” said Dr. Jeff Meyers, who worked closely with the family. “She had really good spirits, she was happy every time I saw her in the NICU and it’s not always a happy place.”
In fact, it’s a place where there are, at times, unhappy turns.
While there, doctors discovered Isabella had had a brain hemorrhage.
Three surgeries later, Isabella is now home with her brother, just in time for Thanksgiving.
It’s now up to John and Diana to continue the constant and critical care, which they do without complaint.
“It’s great having them home,” Diana said. “We’re very lucky.”
The two remain positive despite the possibility challenges lie ahead for Isabella.
“You look for milestones,” John said. “You really don’t know until years from now.”
While they look ahead, the also look back to the timing and the trials; those twin troubles they weathered together by cradling the belief that luck is like love in that there’s only one kind.
“We’re very blessed,” Diana said.