Seven years ago Kristi Patton gave birth to triplet girls, born at thirty weeks; early even for triplets, and there were many problems. All three daughters spent time in the neonatal unit at the hospital, were released on oxygen and apnea monitors and continued on these for one year. In that year the family endured brain, heart and eye surgeries and countless hours at physical, occupational, and developmental therapy. Two daughters have been diagnosed with a mild cerebral palsy, both wearing leg braces for several years. One daughter still wears a brace at night and has had surgery to lengthen her achilles tendon as she grows due to problems resulting from her brain surgery. At age three, they were still in therapy, and Kristi was fortunate to meet Mrs. Cindy who had her gym in the same building.
“We started going to gymnastics and have been with LAGC ever since,” said Kristi. “The girls joined the team two years ago and are still competing – something I never even imagined they would ever do! When we visit their doctors, they are simply amazed! We even have been involved in a triplet study at the hospital where they were born and results indicated that they are well beyond what anyone had hoped for.”
The family feels they owe much of their success to gymnastics. The stretching and strengthening exercises have allowed them to surpass every goal their parents have set for them. Kristi and Joe agree that, “As parents, we see that Nina, Mia, and Sophie have acquired a confidence that otherwise they may have been denied because they could have been less fortunate than others physically. If they never took another lesson, I can assure you that they would not be where they are at today if not for gymnastics. We are truly blessed. I have encouraged everyone I have met in therapy to take a chance like we did. They will be happy with the outcome in every aspect of their child’s development.”