With more recent horrifying headlines about heparin drug errors harming children — and even tragically taking the lives of two babies at a Texas hospital — WebMD recently sat down with Dennis and Kimberly Quaid.
How are their 10-month-old twins, Thomas Boone and Zoë Grace, doing today, now that almost a year has passed since the 11-day-olds were twice given a potentially lethal dose of the blood thinner? What worries the actor and his wife most about their future health? And what successes and challenges have the Quaids encountered in their high-profile national crusade to prevent the surprisingly common problem of medical errors every day in hospitals — so that other parents don’t have to go through the nightmare they faced last November?
In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics, including some of the oldest -- and most cherished -- medical myths out there. For our November-December 2011 issue, we asked Michael Wahl, MD, medical director of the Illinois Poison Center, in Chicago, about the relative risks of eating poinsettia.
Q: I've always heard that poinsettias are poisonous to kids and pets. My husband says that's hogwash. Who's right?
Like the Christmas...
WebMD was invited by Dennis, 54, and Kimberly, 36, to their sunny, art-filled home in Los Angeles, just off busy Sunset Boulevard. Dennis is a veteran of more than 50 movies -- highlights include The Big Easy, Breaking Away, Great Balls of Fire!, and the recent Vantage Point. He has a role in this fall’s The Express, releasing Oct. 3. Quaid plays the coach of college football great Ernie Davis, who was the first black winner of the prestigious Heisman Trophy but was diagnosed with leukemia before he had a chance to play in the pros.
But he is, at this moment at least, clearly off duty, enjoying his real-life role as doting dad. Dennis hoists his chubby-cheeked T. Boone into the air and the infant lets out a whoop of joy.
Nearby, on the sofa, Zoë sits on her mother’s lap, her eyes as summer-sky blue as her brother’s. Kimberly Quaid, 36, a slender cool-blond with kind eyes, proudly reports that Zoë’s already a girly girl, even at eight months. The contrast between this happy, lazy summer Monday afternoon and the frightening, sleepless weeks the Quaids endured after the babies were born in November 2007 is like day and night.
Q: How are the twins doing today?
Both T. Boone and Zoë have met all their developmental milestones, the Quaids say. That's a relief for any parent, but particularly after the overdose catastrophe.