Three Times as Strong

Loretta Coureas

Born three months early, each weighed just about two pounds and needed time to grow and get stronger before going home.
Born three months early, each weighed just about two pounds and needed time to grow and get stronger before going home.

Three beautiful babies in pink – Meagan, Jennifer and Christine Corleto – were still patients in our NICU when they appeared on the cover in 1992. Fifteen years later, they again grace our cover – this time as healthy 10th-graders at Kempsville High School and a world away from their fragile start in life.

Born three months early, all three babies weighed just about two pounds. They needed time to grow and get stronger before going home. Their parents, David and Jamie, admitted being overwhelmed by the thought of bringing them home to Virginia Beach. “Jennifer and Christine came home first,” Jamie said. “Meagan stayed five months because of a heart problem.”

Meagan’s heart defect required surgery soon after the triplets were born. “I have never been as frightened as when she was so tiny and had to have open-heart surgery,” Jamie recalls. But the tiny girl thrived after surgery and a few more months in the hospital. She returned to CHKD’s cardiology specialists for annual checkups but had no further heart problems.

Jennifer, “the studious one,” wants to be a dentist. Christine, a “social butterfly,” wants to be a physical therapist. Meagan, “a true sweetheart,” loves animals and thinks about being a vet or vet’s assistant.
Jennifer, “the studious one,” wants to be a dentist. Christine, a “social butterfly,” wants to be a physical therapist. Meagan, “a true sweetheart,” loves animals and thinks about being a vet or vet’s assistant.

Today, the girls fill their home with chatter, music and activities typical of high school sophomores. All are good students, their mom reports.

Christine and Jennifer love competitive running and belong to their school’s track team, spending much of their time in training. Meagan prefers music, talking on the phone and reading.

“The best thing is that they are never sick,” Jamie said. “I couldn’t ask for a healthier family. We never had any major health problems after they came home from the hospital.”

This story was featured in the third quarter 2008 issue of KidStuff, a publication of Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters.