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Pinellas County couple gets help bringing premature twins home from Utah

Posted at 10:28 PM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 23:25:37-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A Pinellas County couple struggled to bring their premature babies home from Utah during the COVID-19 pandemic.

John Waterman and Alison Herman could not find a way to bring their son and daughter home.

A surrogate mother gave birth to the babies in May in Utah. The babies weighed less than three pounds each at birth.

They stayed in a NICU for nearly eight weeks.

"We've been there a couple of times and then due to COVID, we were unable to go back and fly commercial, said Alison Herman.

The babies were hospitalized due to medical complications but now, they are healthy and may come home.

The couple said flying on a commercial plane was not an option due to the pandemic and driving by car would take more than 35 hours. It would be a challenge with two tiny babies.

The owners of Jet ICU reached out to the couple and offered to fly the twins home to Florida for free.

"I'm very excited. My husband and I have been looking forward to this occasion for a very long time and it's finally happening," said Herman.

Jet ICU is a Tampa-based company that operates the largest air ambulance fleet in North America. The company was founded in 2003 and usually transports seriously injured and ill patients.

The company will fly the babies home on Thursday. A trip would usually cost about $40,000.

"I'm just looking forward to tomorrow and seeing them and thanking everybody from Jet ICU for just doing this for us and getting them home safe so we could start our family," said Herman.

Herman owns "Larry's Ice Cream and Gelatos." She operates the business with her mother. She joked she is used to hard work and not sleeping.

The couple said they have always wanted children.

"It's exciting and nervous at the same time. We're looking forward to this," she said.

You can click here for more information on Jet ICU.