Heather Garrity was 22 weeks pregnant, and faced with the reality that the twin boys she was carrying might not survive. Doctors advised her to get an abortion because the medical prognosis was so grim.
She didn't. She continued the pregnancy, gave birth, and is now the mother of two exceptional young men who have full scholarship offers to some of the most prestigious universities in the country, according to KOVR-TV.
What's the story?
Garrity's identical twin sons, Ethan and Dominic, were diagnosed with twin-twin transfusion syndrome. According to the Cincinnati Fetal Center, TTTS occurs with identical twins who share a placenta, when uneven blood flow between the babies causes one twin to become dehydrated and the other to develop high blood pressure and to produce too much urine.
Heather's decision to not get an abortion was the right one, as the twins overcame the often-fatal medical condition. Now, they're on the verge of great achievement as young adults.
The 18-year-old twins at Nevada Union High School in Grass Valley, California, are deciding where to attend college. Dominic is considering Harvard, the U.S. Naval Academy, West Point, the Air Force Academy, the University of California-Berkeley, UCLA, and Johns Hopkins.
Ethan told KOVR that his top five schools are the Air Force Academy, Harvard, Dartmouth, UC-Berkeley, and UCLA.
"They're about as impressive as you can get, both 5.0 students," Scott Wheeler, their football coach, told KOVR. "As many schools as they've gotten into, and the list is amazing, they remain two of the most humble high school students I've met."
The boys credit hard work, support, and a bit of luck for their successes.
"Throughout our lives and throughout adversity, we've had a very strong support system, and we're very grateful for that," Dominic said.
More about twin-twin transfusion syndrome
According to the American Pregnancy Association, TTTS occurs about 15 percent of the time among identical twins, and does not impact fraternal twins because they don't share a placenta.
The condition is random, and there is no known way to prevent or reduce the probability of it occurring. While the condition used to be often fatal to both twins, new medical technology allows for treatments that can save around 60 percent of affected babies.