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Posted September 13, 2007
The Byler Bunch Debuts on Screens Nationwide

Florida’s first sextuplets – the Byler Bunch of Wesley Chapel – made their photo and video debut from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL.

Parents Karoline and Ben Byler held the firstborn of the six, Brady Christopher, while being interviewed live via satellite on the CBS Early Morning News shortly before 8 AM on Thursday, Sept. 13th. Reporters from broadcast and print media throughout the Tampa/St. Petersburg area had their chance to talk with the Bylers at a press conference later in the morning, where photos and video of the babies taken on Sept. 12th were distributed.

 “I’m still in shock,” mom Karoline replied when asked if the sudden increase in her family’s size has fully sunken in yet. “While they’re still here at All Children’s, the nurses are doing 90 percent of the work. So I’ve had a chance to rest but I know that will change.”

Mom and dad have already tackled diaper duty – not an easy maneuver on a baby who weighs three pounds or less. They’ve been able to help feed the babies with mother’s milk delivered through a feeding tube. And they’ve held three of the babies whose medical conditions are now stable enough to tolerate the extra TLC.

As of noon on Sept. 13th, four of the babies are listed in fair condition. That includes Brady Christopher, Eli Benjamin, Charlie Craig and MacKenzie Margaret – the lone girl in the Bunch. Their brothers Ryan Patrick and Jackson Robert remain in serious condition.

Dr. Fauzia Shakeel, one of the All Children’s Hospital Neonatologists on the sextuplets care team, told reporters the babies are progressing nicely but still need time to grow. “Their lungs and their brain are still premature and need time to catch up in development,” she explained, adding that it will probably be mid-November before the babies can go home.

And that won’t come soon enough for the Byler’s other child, 4-year old Zoe. She can’t wait to share her bedroom with baby sister MacKenzie and was thrilled yesterday when she got to hold baby brother Charlie for the first time all by herself.

Media interested in obtaining high-resolution photos of the Byler Bunch may e-mail Media Relations Manager Ann Miller (millera@allkids.org) for a link to the Byler Bunch photo gallery.


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