Southeast Texas couple escaping Hurricane Laura welcomes twins at East Texas hospital

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“I was about 30, almost 31 weeks pregnant, and he just didn’t want anything bad to happen,” Rachel Fuller said.

MARSHALL, Texas — Just days before Hurricane Laura made landfall, Rachel and Chase Fuller decided to evacuate from their home when it wasn’t clear where Hurricane Laura would land.

“I was about 30, almost 31 weeks pregnant, and he just didn’t want anything bad to happen,” Rachel said. “So he said, let’s go somewhere where we know there’s a hospital.”

Thus began the roughly three-hour journey from Silsbee, about 30 miles from Beaumont, to Marshall.

Shortly after arriving, Rachel began having contractions weeks before her due date. So they rushed to the hospital.

The next day, Wade and Claire were welcomed into the world, but because they were born early, they were both admitted to the NICU.

“Any babies that are born that early, generally have some special needs as far as breathing and they don’t usually have the ability to maintain their breathing and control of it, and usually have some issues with feeding,” Clinical Director for Women’s Health for Christus Trinity Mother Frances, Bonnie Bearden, said.

For the next two weeks, everything seemed to be going well, until Wade got an infection called Necrotizing Enterocolitis Arnett.

“Three weeks ago, Wade got sick and had an infection in his belly,” Rachel said. “And so he was transported to Willis Knighton in Shreveport.”

“It’s usually an infection in the tummy that causes the belly to have some distension,” Bearden said.

Chase and Rachel didn’t know anyone in the area when they traveled to East Texas, and didn’t expect to be there as long as they have. Rachel says they’re grateful for all the people who’ve helped them, including a family that’s letting them stay in their pool house until they can go home.

“Even though we are far away from home and are staying in a place that we don’t know, and at a hospital we don’t know, with people we don’t know, it’s been a huge blessing,” Rachel said.

On Tuesday, Claire was able to leave the NICU and Rachel is hopeful that Wade will be able to come home in about three weeks.