Dana and John Agamalian were elated upon learning that Dana was pregnant, especially when Dana felt her twins' first kicks at 18 weeks.
But those kicks were actually early contractions, and doctors at a local hospital worked feverishly to delay the delivery.
The hospital staff immediately transferred Dana to UC Irvine Medical Center because of its renowned neonatal intensive care unit. During their 3 1/2 month stay, the twins, Grant and Alexa, received exceptional care, and Dr. Feizal Waffarn, chair of the Department of Pediatrics, patiently answered questions from Dana and John. The emotionally frayed couple also received compassionate care and advice from Dr. Jack Sills, medical director of the NICU, who gave them his cell phone number so they could reach him around the clock.
Today the twins are healthy and happy four-year-olds. "We just know there is no way in the world we could have received better care," Dana Agamalian says. "We were with a bunch of pros."
Creating an even happier ending, an L.A. businessman who is a family friend of the Agamalians made an anonymous, unsolicited gift to the Department of Pediatrics after learning about the extraordinary care received by the family. The $5 million donation is the single-largest gift in the department's history.