Twenty years ago, it was not common for babies in the neonatal care unit to share an incubator or be handled. The medical community assumed the premature babies were too delicate and fragile. However, one incident changed that notion.

Paul Jackson from Worcester got twin daughters in 1995. The girls were born prematurely at 12 weeks, and doctors feared the girls would die. Fortunately, they stabilized.

Three weeks after their birth, one of the twins appeared to be struggling. She was unable to breathe and even turned blue.

Gayle Kasparian, a NICU nurse, adopted a medical practice that was common in Europe but had never been done in the U.S. She took the stronger twin, Kyrie, and placed her in sister’s, Brielle, incubator.

Kyrie put her tiny arm around her sister, and her vitals stabilized almost instantly. Brielle, who was fighting for her life had a normal breathing and heart rate.

The magical moment made history as a newspaper photographer captured the moment. The healing power of touch or “Rescuing Hug” appeared in the Reader’s Digest and Life Magazine. It has become a routine that handles premature babies, as young as 23 weeks.

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