Twins were born to work in the NICU

Sunday, January 5, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — It's no exaggeration to say that Jennifer Hanford, 29, has an extraordinary relationship with her workplace. She and her twin sister, Sarah Cammack, were born in Children's Hospital in 1984 and spent almost three months there. At the time, both of their parents were nurses in the NICU.

Today, both sisters work in the same NICU where they spent the beginning of their lives. They recently were named March of Dimes Nurses of the Year for 2013, just two of 22 honorees in Missouri.

"I think being born prematurely and looking at all of the pictures from when we were in the NICU made us interested in the field growing up," Hanford said.

Cammack said their parents have noticed the differences in NICU technology from just 30 years ago.

"They are amazed how technology has changed over the course of the years," she said.

When the twins were in the hospital, Hanford went home a few weeks before Cammack, making it difficult for their parents to divide their time between home and the hospital.

"It definitely would have been nice when I came home before Sarah did for my mom to be able to see how she was doing," Hanford said. "She was always worried about exposing me to the germs that she would get at the hospital."

Both Hanford and Cammack say their time in the NICU inspired their career aspirations.

"It's really neat to be able to give back to the people who took care of us and do what people did for us back then," Hanford said.

"We've come full circle from where we started," Cammack said.

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