Baby Siena Gave up Everything to Save her Sister’s Life

Sacramento, California, June 17, 2011 – NASCAR racer Dave Smith and his wife Dorine were excited, and a bit nervous, to welcome identical twin girls. Half-way through a healthy pregnancy, Dorine discovered that one of her daughters was in trouble. On the evening of October 24, 2010, more than 4 months before her due date, Dorine gave birth to Siena and Adrianna at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento.

Siena and Adrianna were born 14 weeks premature, and suffered from a rare condition called Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). This condition caused one child to receive more blood and nutrients than needed, while the other received less. In this case, Siena was the baby to receive less blood.
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Though Siena and Adrianna had been born sick and premature, doctors had seen no indication of the severity of the girl’s health until Dorine went into early labor.

“I prided myself in obtaining the best of pre-natal care. I received ultrasounds twice a week, had genetic testing, an amniocentesis and constant support from a great group of Sutter OBGYNs. Everything was going great until one day I went into pre-term labor,” said Dorine.

Upon delivery, Dorine had been allowed mere seconds to gaze at her beautiful baby girls before they had been whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Sutter Memorial Hospital. From that point on it was a constant struggle for survival. Both babies were born weighing just over 1 pound, and both babies’ skin had been transparent and underdeveloped. The only contact that the Smiths had with their daughters was through the Plexiglas walls of their incubators.

On her second day of life, Adrianna required surgery that would allow her to accept the necessary nutrients she needed to survive. However, on that same day, Siena took a turn for the worst. She suffered a massive hemorrhage in her brain and was not strong enough to endure it. The doctors prepared the Smiths to tell their baby girl goodbye.

“Siena had given her all for her sister, her blood, her nutrients, her strength and now her life. Late that night, we visited Adrianna and told her that Siena had passed away and was now her angel in Heaven. Her tiny hand squeezed my finger hard, as if to say, “Don’t worry Mommy, I’m tough enough to get through this,”’ said Dorine.

And that is what she did. On January 11, 2011 the Smiths were finally able to bring their baby home.

Adrianna, now seven months old, is a healthy and beautiful baby girl. The Smiths will always remember their daughter Siena, and the sacrifice she gave to save her sister; and they know that it was the result of the lifesaving research and support of the March of Dimes that the doctors of Sutter Memorial Hospital were able to save Adrianna.

It is because of the success and necessity of the March of Dimes that the Smith family has decided to give back to their community through this year’s upcoming Be A Hero for Babies Day, an event created by Farmers Insurance to help March of Dimes fund lifesaving research, education and advocacy.

From now until June 29, 2011 the Smiths will be personally fundraising to support the March of Dimes. SNT Motorsports Development Corp will also be donating 15 percent of their NASCAR sponsorship dollars to the March of Dimes to help end premature births and infant mortality.

The NASCAR race featuring this Red Line Oil, Sport Truck RV, Muscle Milk, Byers Leaf Guard, Porter Communications, Freightliner, Red Rocket Auto Tech, and Porter Law Group supported car will be held on June 25, 2011 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, and a pair of angel wings will be painted on the race car in memory of Siena.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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