PEORIA, Ill. — Christmas joy came a day early for Ron and Roz Helms--in the form of tiny Samantha, the last of their quintuplets to leave the hospital.
Wrapped in a blue blanket, Samantha was handed over to her parents Thursday by officials at St. Francis Medical Center. She had spent the past nine months in the newborn intensive care unit.
Samantha went home to join her brother and sisters, Benjamin, Shannon, Bevin and Meredith. The babies, born 12 weeks premature on March 2, had battled viruses and other problems associated with immature lungs, hospital officials said.
"It must be the happiest day of our lives," Roz Helms said before leaving home to pick up Samantha. "It was like Christmas morning. You lay in bed and knew you should sleep more, but the adrenalin is pumping through you."