A nurse who cares for newborns in a different Bay Area hospital, Kim Anderson came to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco for fetal surgery when she learned that the babies she was carrying suffered from twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. Anderson talks about the experience of being a patient, her surgery and the birth of her two healthy boys, Hunter and Dylan.
How did you first find out?
I was 18 weeks pregnant and I went for a high-level ultrasound, where I was diagnosed with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. They gave me three options. I could do nothing and they both would not survive, I could have an abortion or I could have fetal surgery. They told me that UCSF was the place in the area that does fetal surgery. I opted for the surgery.
What was it like to receive that news?
I was so shocked. I had only found out the week before that I was having twins, so I was still shocked about that, and then to find out that they were in a potentially life-threatening state… I was devastated. When I found out I had options such as fetal surgery, I felt like I had a tad bit of hope.
What made you go with UCSF Benioff San Francisco?
First of all, it's one of the few places in the world that does fetal surgeries. They are the place that actually invented fetal surgery, so I knew I was in the hands of experts. Not only that, they were very compassionate. I'm a nurse, so I know what good-quality care is, and what I received at UCSF Benioff San Francisco was excellent, excellent care.
As a nurse, how did it feel to be the patient this time?
I think it actually helped me to become a better nurse, being on the other side of things. I work in the NICU [neonatal intensive care unit], so I deal with premature babies all day and I have to comfort and support parents. This time I needed that support.
How were the babies born?
My boys were born at 34 weeks, which was way past what we expected. They're alive and healthy — it's a true success story.