Austintown twins born with rare spine defect recovering well

Cairo and Micah Nieves were born two months premature on May 4 with Spina Bifida

Linna Nieves' identical twins -- Cairo and Micah -- are recovering from surgery in Akron Children's Hospital after being born two months premature on May 4 with Spina Bifida. Doctors say there's no other pregnancy of this type on record -- it's the first documented time that identical twins have been born with the disease.


AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – An Austintown mother has a couple miracle babies to be thankful for this Mother’s Day.

Linna Nieves’ identical twins — Cairo and Micah — are recovering from surgery at Akron Children’s Hospital after being born two months premature on May 4 with Spina Bifida. Doctors say there’s no other pregnancy of this type on record — it’s the first documented time that identical twins have been born with the birth defect.

“All that we went through was never in vain,” Linna said.

Linna Nieves' identical twins -- Cairo and Micah -- are recovering from surgery in Akron Children's Hospital after being born two months premature on May 4 with Spina Bifida. Doctors say there's no other pregnancy of this type on record -- it's the first documented time that identical twins have been born with the disease.WKBN met with Linna, her husband Heriberto and oldest son Eddie on Sunday afternoon in Mill Creek Park. They say the hardest part is over now that the babies are here.

At 19 weeks, a routine ultrasound showed that the boys had gaps in their spinal column. Linna’s doctors saw cases of Spina Bifida — which is a condition that affects the membranes of the spinal column — in children several times before, but never identical twins.

“It has never been reported before in identical twins where both babies have Spina Bifida,” Physician Katherine Wolfe said.

Naturally, the news was startling and upsetting to Linna and Heriberto. But they decided not to terminate the pregnancy, instead focusing on how they were going to care for the twins when they were born.

“There was nothing in my mind that made me think that I was not going to have two babies,” Linna said. “God just didn’t put that on my heart.

“I stayed positive. I figured that would be the best environment to have them flourish each day in the womb — and it obviously had to work because they’re here and they’re doing great each and every day.”

Linna Nieves' identical twins -- Cairo and Micah -- are recovering from surgery in Akron Children's Hospital after being born two months premature on May 4 with Spina Bifida. Doctors say there's no other pregnancy of this type on record -- it's the first documented time that identical twins have been born with the disease.
Linna Nieves (center) with husband Heriberto (right) and oldest son Eddie (left)

The twins will stay in the NICU in Akron Children’s as they grow stronger and recover from the surgery that closed their spines. They will also need several surgeries over the years.

But Linna is certain her “little fighters” have bright futures ahead of them.

“I can’t wait to see what they accomplish,” Linna said. “What they overcome in life and just what they have to offer. Because they’re showing already, like, ‘I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.'”

In the meantime, Eddie is excited to start his big brother duties.

“It doesn’t really matter about the Spina Bifida,” Eddie said. “They’re still going to be my brothers and I am going to care for them.”

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