The Byler kids crowd around the picture, pointing up at their past selves.
They’re part of history, these kids.
They’re looking right at it.
Florida’s first sextuplets were born Sept. 1, 2007 and spent a healthy chunk of their early lives in the neonatal intensive care unit. Now, they’re 12 and attending the unveiling of a history wall at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital that prominently features their images: Brady and Eli, Ryan and Jackson, Charlie and Mackenzie, all snuggling on a couch not long after going home.
“To come here and see their pictures and names in this timeline is absolutely awesome,” their mother Karoline Byler says. “The kids still come to the hospital several times a year for doctor appointments, so I’m excited that every time we pass through here I will get to see their picture on the display. It’s like a flashback because the kids are doing great. They are 12 years old and in the sixth grade now. They’re a handful.”
Tony Napolitano, M.D., was among the neonatologists who cared for the Bylers a dozen years ago. Now chair of the Department of Pediatric Medicine, he beams as he sees them for the first time in many years.
“We only get to see them for a small part of their lives,” he says of patients like the Bylers, “so to see them growing up is exciting.”
And full of future possibilities.