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Meet Haley & Callen

Our 2022 CMN Champions!

“Only seeing your newborn babies every other day is extremely hard, but we had comfort because the NICU staff was amazing. The doctors, nurses, therapists – everyone. I feel like they take each baby and treat them like their own because they know we can’t be there. They became our family.” – Carrie, Haley and Callen’s mom

Carrie and Chris Blankenbaker were shocked to find out they were pregnant with twins. When going through in vitro fertilization to get pregnant, they were told that the possibility was less than 2%. After the initial shock, Carrie, Chris, and big sister Presley were excited to welcome 2 new babies into their family.

At 24 weeks, Carrie was rushed to her local hospital in Valdosta when she felt like she was going into labor. Her medical team was able to stop labor and planned to transfer her to Tallahassee for hospital bed rest.

Days later, Carrie started having contractions and her water broke. Her doctor attempted to slow her labor, but baby Haley had other plans. On March 23, 2020, Haley was born within minutes at 25 weeks and 2 days, weighing just 1 lb. 11 ounces. Carrie’s doctor called Phoebe’s NICU transport team minutes after Haley was born because he knew she needed the highest level of care if she had a chance at survival.

Carrie’s medical team tried to stabilize her son still in the womb, but he was in distress and they lost his heartbeat. They immediately rushed Carrie in for an emergency C-section. Callen was born unresponsive and not breathing, weighing 1 lb. 7 ounces. Immediately after Callen was born, Phoebe’s NICU ambulance and transport team arrived to pick up these two tiny miracles.

Carrie and Chris were only able to see Haley and Callen for a brief moment before being taken to Phoebe’s NICU via ambulance. Phoebe’s NICU transport team began life-saving treatment immediately as they traveled 2 hours to Albany.

“It was the most terrifying day of our life. My doctor told us Haley had a very low chance of survival, and he didn’t expect Callen to make it. I knew God had them in his hands, and I knew they were fighters and would survive. I wasn’t going to think anything other than that,” Carrie shared.

When Carrie was released 4 days later, she drove directly to Albany to see her son and daughter. The first few months of their life was extremely challenging. Carrie was recovering from surgery while caring for their 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Chris had returned to work, and their drive was almost 2 hours one way.

Haley and Callen’s NICU journey was slow and gradual. It was 76 days before Carrie got to hold Haley and Callen together, and they instantly put their heads together and she felt an immediate connection between them.

After 4 and a half months of fighting, growing, developing, and overcoming many obstacles, Haley and Callen were finally able to go home. Since then, Haley and Callen have continued to progress and show everyone they meet that they are living miracles!

At age one and a half, the twins just landed on the growth chart in the first and sixth percentile, a huge milestone we are all proud of! Haley and Callen have experienced respiratory issues and developmental delays, but they are catching up each month and are full of joy and energy.

The Blankenbaker family is eternally grateful for Children’s Miracle Network funds that provided the twin transporter, NICU Ambulance, and the NICU equipment that saved Haley and Callen’s life and gave them the chance to survive and thrive!

For more information, call Phoebe Foundation at 229-312-4483 or toll-free at 877-312-4483. You can also email Phoebe Foundation at