For two former NICU preemies and their family, BWH was a home away from home for nearly the first year of their lives.

In July 1987, twin sisters Justine and Alexandra Bryar were born at BWH at 25 weeks gestation, each weighing only three pounds. For months, their parents visited the NICU daily to be with their newborn girls, with their then-six-year-old brother in tow.

“There was a little family that formed around us,” said Justine, referring to the physicians and nurses who not only provided life-saving care but also comforted the family throughout their journey.

Despite their struggles at birth, Justine and Alex grew into healthy “rough and tumble little girls” and the closest of friends, they said. Years later, they have both rejoined the Brigham family in new ways—Justine as an assistant director for BWH Development and Alex as a primary care medical assistant at BWFH. Alex dreams of becoming a nurse and working in the NICU someday.

“We’re really thankful to not have any health issues,” said Alex. “I think our experience as preemies has given us a positive outlook on life physically and mentally. Nothing really stops you.”

Justine and Alex are extremely grateful to BWH for their care.

“My sister and I would not be here if somebody hadn’t funded research for the NICU and saved our lives,” said Justine.