Matthew and Marshall were born with Pfeiffer syndrome, a rare genetic deformity that caused their skulls to improperly grow while they were still inside the womb.
The boys have oversized and misshapen heads, severe hand and foot deformities, fibrous joints, and protruding eyes.
Shortly after birth, Matthew and Marshall were taken away from their parents, who were deemed unfit to provide the right care for them.
Enter Linda Trepanier, a 58-year-old full-time medical foster caregiver from Michigan: The kindhearted nurse, who has fostered 16 other children in the past, has three grown kids and grandchildren of her own. That’s quite a brood, but that didn’t stop her from deciding to take a chance on these two baby boys with serious medical conditions and hands-on care needs.
Linda agreed to foster the twins when they were 4 months old. Then, social services asked if she would adopt one of the boys.
People told Linda she would be crazy to do it — that raising a baby with special needs would “tie her down.” After all, Matthew and Marshall require 24/7 care, which involves checking their temperature in the middle of the night and constantly monitoring their breathing tubes. Caring for any child is demanding, but caring for children who have these intense special medical needs is essentially a full-time job.
But then Linda made a decision that left everyone in awe.