PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - It was an extra special reunion for local triplets born premature. One of the babies was hospitalized for months with severe chronic lung disease. Now, they are 3 years old and one word used to describe their progress is remarkable. That's how well these triplets are doing. The girls are two weeks shy of their 4th birthday.
Ellie, Riley and Maddie Selley were having a ball in the playroom at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Tuesday. These identical triplets have come a long way since they were in the NICU at CHOP almost three years ago.
They were born 12-weeks premature and the youngest of the girls - Maddie - was in grave condition, hospitalized at CHOP for months on end with Chronic Lung Disease.
Brooke Selley, the triplets' mother, spoke with Fox 29 about Maddie's remarkable progress, "It was a long journey. She was in the NICU 319 days."
Brooke would visit Maddie every single day with Ellie and Riley in tow.
Maddie was finally released a month before her first birthday. However, she was in and out of the hospital for an additional two years, proving to be quite a fighter.
"You can see just how much healthier she is because every year it's less and less hospital visits," says Brooke.
Brooke is returning to CHOP with her family for the second annual Chronic Lung Disease reunion and the doctors and nurses who cared for this very sick, teeny, tiny baby can't believe Maddie's progress.
"This is amazing to me," says Dr. Huayan Zhang. "She for a long time we really debated whether she would need long term respiratory support. Whether to put a tracheotomy in cause we worried about the way she was breathing. Now look at her, she is so much better."
Maddie is developmentally delayed after being in the hospital for so long. Just learning to crawl was a huge milestone. She didn't walk until she was three and it was cause for celebration.
Brooke says, "It was one of the happiest days of our life, moving her two little bobbly legs. Every achievement she has is, um, not something that came easy to her. It's something she worked hard to get."
Maddie is definitely a cutie. Curious and outgoing and happy to give a big hug hello.
Brooke says, "She is catching up to her sisters. She sticks up for herself. I think this adventure she had made her stronger."
Dr. Huayan Zhang says, "Her outcome is really on one of the best sides we can be expecting. I think she's going to be fine."