1 of 3
Averin Lamont Harris
2 of 3
Amir Jaquez Harris
3 of 3
A'dez Lavonte Harris
A rare set of naturally conceived identical triplets was born Jan. 13 at Willis-Knighton South and the Center for Women’s Health in Shreveport.
Auset Champion of Arcadia delivered the boys – Averin Lamont Harris, Amir Jaquez Harris and A’dez Lavonte Harris – by Cesarean section. The boys were then taken to the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, where they will be under the care of neonatologists until they are released to go home.
“We’re really excited to be part of such a rare and momentous delivery,” said Dr. Betsy LeRoy, the obstetrician who delivered the babies.
Just how rare are identical triplets? LeRoy said at a news conference that it happens so rarely that there are no good statistics on the occurrence. She estimates the odds of it happening at 1 in 1 million or higher.
“This was a really big day for us,” LeRoy said. “We’ve never been a part of this before, and it’s likely we never will again.”
The boys’ father, Derrick Harris, also of Arcadia, said he was in shock when they learned they were having triplets, but he is relieved now that they have arrived.
“It makes me proud,” he said. “I know now I have to push harder to make everyone happy. But if there’s one thing I want my boys to know, it’s that I will never give up on them.”
In the NICU, the babies were receiving oxygen until their lung functions fully develop, their feeding instincts become better coordinated and they can maintain their temperature better. Dr. Lea Bonifacio, who received the babies into the NICU, said that was common for babies born at 33 weeks.
“They are healthy,” Bonifacio said. “So far, everything is great.”
Harris said there are twins in both families, but no triplets.
Champion has one other son, 22-month old Trenston Young. She is a freshman at Grambling State University. Originally a criminal justice major, she plans to continue her education but is considering changing her major to education.
Champion spent the last two months of her pregnancy in Willis-Knighton’s high-risk OB transport program after being referred their by her doctor, Dr. Robert Russell of Minden, at 24 weeks. The staff at Willis-Knighton closely monitored the final stages of her pregnancy, allowing the babies to mature to 33 weeks.
“It’s a real testament to her maturity to be here that long,” LeRoy said. “She’s a young mom who takes great care of herself. I give her complete credit for that.”