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Octuplets Make Public Appearance

November 7, 1999

HOUSTON (AP) _ Nearly a year after their births made history, the seven surviving Houston octuplets have made their first public appearance.

More than 100 people attended a celebration in their honor Saturday at Sugar Creek Baptist Church. The infants, each seated in the lap of a volunteer, bounced, emitted an occasional ``Da!″ and chewed on their fists.

The five sisters _ Ebuka, Chidi, Echerem, Gorom and Chima _ wore lacy, white gowns and caps. Brothers Ikem and Jioke wore white satin suits.

Conceived with the help of fertility drugs, the octuplets were born Dec. 8 and Dec. 20 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital to Nkem Chukwu and Iyke Louis Udobi.

The babies were the world’s only living octuplets at the time of their birth.

Two-and-a-half months premature and each weighing less than a pound, the babies faced numerous health problems. The smallest, a girl, Odera, died after one week.

``The time has flown fast, and the babies have done really well,″ said Dr. Patti Savrick, the Baylor College of Medicine pediatrician who is following the babies. ``They are very much on track.″

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