The Eaton Family – Brooklynn, Rob, Madilyn and Hugh

When Brooklynn and Rob Eaton’s twins arrived six weeks early, it wasn’t the storybook beginning to parenting they were hoping for.


“You’re expecting the same thing as your friends, and the movies, and it’s not always the case,” said Brooklynn.

After spending two days in a local Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the doctors came to tell the new parents that their newborns, Madilyn and Hugh, needed to be transferred to make room and that Joseph Brant Hospital had space.

Before they came to JBH, the twins were separated within the hospital, which meant Brooklynn and Rob needed to split up and take turns spending time with their son and daughter separately. But once they arrived at JBH, they were quickly moved to the same bay so the family could be together.

“Right off the bat the whole atmosphere was amazing,” Brooklynn said. “We live an hour away and were worried about being on time, but the nurses were so reassuring and supportive. It was just so accommodating and it made me feel 100 times better.”

For the first-time parents, it was the staff and the support that truly made the difference. The nurses and pediatricians were in constant contact providing updates on the overall health of the twins and how they were progressing.

“They were fine to stand there and listen to our dumb questions,” joked Rob. “They did a fantastic job of telling us what the issues were, and what Madilyn and Hugh needed to do to be able to come home.”

For Brooklynn, the nurses truly made the experience.

“Nurses are just another breed of human,” she said. “Madilyn was suffering from acid reflux, and I was so upset. The nurses took the time to teach us, answer our questions, and always made us feel better.”

The twins spent a total of 30 days in the NICU and being an hour away Brooklynn and Rob often would call the nurses when they woke up to check-in.

“We would call and say ‘how was their night?’ and I felt we were becoming annoying, but it felt like they were waiting for our call,” Brooklynn said.

Overall, the couple was very happy with the care they received, and the overall experience.

“Whenever we tell people we were in the NICU, we would get that sympathetic ‘Oh…’,” said Brooklyn. “And I’ll say ‘you don’t understand – our experience was as good as it could be in the NICU. At one point there were only 4 babies in the NICU, and we were half of them!’”

In honour of the incredible care their family received, and in celebration of World Prematurity Day (November 17), Brooklynn and Rob asked for donations to the NICU instead of presents for Madilyn and Hugh’s first birthdays.

“The whole experience was very, very impressive and we’re so grateful,” Brooklynn said.

twin babies
Madilyn and Hugh Eaton
Hugh and Madilyn
Hugh and Madilyn