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Last Quint Comes Home for Holidays

December 25, 1987|Associated Press

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."

She said Samantha had not been doing as well as expected at Thanksgiving, and it was a surprise for the family to be told that she could come home Thursday.

Of the 13 sets of quintuplets living in the United States, the Helms quints had the lowest aggregate weight at birth, hospital officials said.

Bevin was the heaviest of the five at birth, but even she weighed just 2 pounds, 3 ounces. Samantha and Meredith weighed only 1 pound, 12 ounces each.

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