PORTLAND, Ore. — Hartlee and Holden Puckett, premature twins from Prineville, are battling RSV at Randall Children's Hospital in Portland.
Despite a statewide decline in cases and hospitalizations for the respiratory illness, the situation for the babies remains serious. The family says both infants were airlifted to the NICU this week. Now they're both on ventilators and fighting off pneumonia.
"The twins were born at 32 weeks," said their uncle, Ryan Hood. "Their actual due date was, I think, the same day they were starting to show symptoms for RSV ... The ventilators are taking away the strain and stress of breathing, so their bodies can focus on healing. They're both about 6 pounds — very tiny."
Hood explained that this isn't the twins' first time in the NICU. He said they spent about a month in the hospital in Bend, and were only home for about 3 weeks before they came down with RSV.
Parents Lindsey and Garrett Puckett are asking for prayers and support for their babies, posting daily updates about the twins' conditions on a GoFundMe page.
"They're very grateful for the outpouring of love and support from friends, family and strangers and just community in general," said Hood.
Respiratory syncytial virus is relatively common and highly contagious. While not usually serious for most people, it can be dangerous for the very young and the elderly. Near the end of 2022, Oregon hospitals were being overwhelmed with respiratory patients, particularly children suffering from RSV.
Oregon health officials recently reported a decline in the community spread of flu and RSV, predicting a drop in respiratory virus hospitalizations in the coming weeks. At this point, hospitalizations remain high.