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Christoffers Quints

David Samson / The ForumChristoffers Quints 

  • Names: Jacob, Bethany, Kevin, Alyssa and Bobby
  • Born: Nov. 30, 2001, at 25 weeks
  • Weight at birth: 1 pound, 10½ ounces to 1 pound, 15 ounces
  • Parents: Mike and Collette Christoffers, Moorhead

    Then: They were described as the first healthy set of quintuplets born in Minnesota. But at less than two pounds each, they had a lot of milestones to reach.

    “We weren’t sure if all would come home,” Collette said.

    Bobby never made it home. He died June 6, 2002, at 6 months of age. His four siblings spent three to four months in the hospital.

  • Now: Jacob, Bethany, Kevin and Alyssa are third-graders at Reinertsen Elementary. Each has a gerbil, and all take piano lessons. Bethany and Alyssa are in gymnastics. Jacob does Tae Kwon Do, like 12-year-old sister Emily.

    “They play well. They fight well,” Collette said. “They each go off on their own journeys sometimes.”

    Bobby plays a big role in their lives. They say a prayer for him at night, and remember him on their birthday and the anniversary of his death. Ask the quints how many siblings they have, and they count Bobby, Collette said.

    Since October 2008, Collette has worked part-time in the NICU at Essentia )formerly Innovis) Health, providing family support as an employee of the March of Dimes.

    As a nurse, Collette always worked with adults. She never pictured herself in a NICU setting. But having seen both sides of the spectrum of premature birth, she can offer parent-to-parent support. She gives them booklets of information, explains the dynamics of the NICU and early intervention services, and offers fun activities, like scrapbooking.

    “I just feel because of my experience, I can give back and help others in a positive way,” she said.

(see reference: Photo republished with permission of The Forum of Fargo Moorhead and the Christoffers family.)