The Spratt family, with their baby girl Hayden, flew into Teterboro Airport on Sunday and finally back home in New Jersey after a bittersweet, nearly four-month ordeal.
“When we found out we were pregnant, everything we read said we were safe to fly” Fred Spratt said.
“We're standing here today because of the support that everyone has given us.”
Fred and his wife Kim had a trip planned to Portugal long before they even knew they were expecting twins. They left back in May when Kim was six months pregnant after four doctors gave her the OK. She ended up going into labor on Mother's Day, giving birth 13 weeks early. Both babies weighed barely more than a pound.
Their son Hudson didn't survive and doctors said their daughter Hayden was too weak to fly back on a commercial plane.
At first, their insurance company refused to cover the nearly $100,000 cost to fly home.
But then, the Spratts were posting about their ordeal online, and an outpouring of the community led to a change in heart.
“ When I got the call they were paying for everything on Thursday they said you were leaving Sunday” he said..
The family traveled nearly 3500 miles on a medically equipped plane with a doctor and nurse on board. As soon as they landed, an ambulance took Kim and the baby to the hospital.
A GoFundMe page has over $50,000 in donations from friends and strangers to help Hayden on her road to recovery.
“ In the beginning we were nervous about how Hayden would respond but to no surprise she handled the past four months like a champ, why would this be any different” Fred said.
The grandparents waited a long time to finally welcome them home.
“I can't wait to hold and tickle her. I'm the designated babysitter” said Grandmother Donna Kirzow.
“Hayden is still going to be in the hospital. Make sure we're continuing to support her and get her home as soon as possible” Fred said.
Both Fred and Kim say they look forward to bringing Hayden back to Portugal when she gets a little bit older to introduce her to doctors who cared for her and kind people who helped their family along the way.