One hospital, three mothers, seven births
Fifty years ago, one Rochester hospital saw seven births by three mothers over 12 days.
On Sept. 12, 1968, a set of twins was born at Olmsted Community Hospital. Eight days later, another set of twins was born there. Three days after that, a mother gave birth to triplets.
Six of the seven — Brent Hansen and his twin brother, Brian Hansen, of Mantorville; Melissa Woosley, of Hastings; and the triplets, Mindy Plantz, Missy Horsman and Michelle Salmon, reunited Saturday at a Rochester home. Woosley’s twin brother, Matthew Shaw, of Big Lake, wasn’t able to attend.
David and Judy Hansen, parents of one of the sets of twins, planned and hosted the reunion. They tracked down the “kids” and some of the doctors and nurses who helped deliver them.
Charles Field, 97, the doctor who delivered all seven in 1968, had planned to be at the reunion but was unable to attend. Werner Kaese, a retired OB-GYN doctor, was at the event. He assisted in the births along with retired nurses Karen VanWeir and Sharon Youngblood, who also joined the reunion.
“That’s half the fun and excitement of putting this together,” Judy Hansen said. “They’ve been there since the beginning.”
“They’re all part of the extended family,” David Hansen said.
Although the seven share the same first “home,” most never had met until a 1990 reunion in Rochester.
“They really enjoyed getting together when they were 22,” David said. “We thought, let’s get this going one more time.”
However, Shaw and Woosley didn’t attend the 1990 event.
Woosley was the last of the seven the Hansen’s were able to contact while planning Saturday’s reunion. Early on, they had some leads but no phone number for Woosley. The couple took a trip to Hastings to knock on what they hoped was Woosley’s door. She wasn’t home, so they talked to a neighbor. Just before the Hansens left, Woosley returned home.
The couple approached her as she let her dogs outside.
“They seemed glad they found me,” Woosley said.
In Rochester, Salmon keeps a photo of all seven of them on her dresser at home.
“I can’t really explain it, but we came into this world together,” Salmon said. “It’s an exciting feeling.”
She agreed that having some of the health-care specialists who helped deliver them was a special addition to the event. Salmon said she and her two sisters are close and were feeling the same way looking ahead to the event.
For Woosley, too, the Hansens’ persistence and kindness helped convince her to participate.
“They’re pretty sweet, so they’re pretty hard to resist,” she said.