An aunt to two beautiful twins who were born prematurely is going viral after she got a custom mask made. The mask revealed her reasons why she wears one in hopes that it will encourage anti-maskers to change their minds.
The mask is black with green lettering that reads, “This is why:” it then has two photos underneath that, one photo of each of her twin nephews, who needed ventilators following their births. A photo of the aunt wearing the mask was posted on Instagram by the mom of the two little boys.
Aunt Rocks Custom-Made Face Mask That Features Photos of Her Premature Twin Nephews on Ventilators
The Instagram account, known as The Smallest Fight, is run by mom Savannah O’Malley, who is a wife, artist, and mother to miracles. As well as being a mom to twins, she also has an older child.
On Instagram, along with the photo of her sister wearing the mask, O’Malley wrote, “Masks suck. They are unnatural, hot, and uncomfortable and for all those reasons it is pretty easy to forget why we are wearing them.”
She continued writing how her sister discovered a way to make the reason why we wear masks very clear. “My sister, however, found a way to be a little more direct for anyone who forgets why we are doing this. This is the mask she is rocking in public. If this prevents just one mother from having to know what it feels like to have her child on a vent, it has served its purpose.”
While talking with Today, O’Malley called her sister, Tennessy Fraumeni, an “amazing aunt.” In fact, when O’Malley was pregnant with her twins in 2017, Tennessy was also pregnant. “When she would visit the NICU, she had a baby in her belly. It was pretty crazy for her to look at my twins knowing that the baby in her belly probably looked the same.”
It was those visits that left a lasting impression on Tennessy, Today reports, and ultimately lead to why the aunt felt compelled to design such an important mask. According to O’Malley, her twins spent 15 weeks in the NICU and underwent several surgeries before coming home a week before their due date.
Now Lex and Lochlan are 3 years old, but they still have some challenges as a result of being born so prematurely. “We have attended over a hundred doctor and specialist appointments,” the mom told Today. “Today, my son Lex is right on track developmentally, but my son Lochlan has had bigger mountains to climb.”
And as O’Malley explains, even though they look healthy, a respiratory illness can put them back in the hospital due to their chronic lung disease. “When COVID became a clear threat in early March, we pulled our 5-year-old daughter out of preschool and went back into isolation just as we had done when the twins first came home from the NICU … I know most children are not severely affected by COVID, but it is not a risk I am willing to take considering a cold has previously hospitalized my boys.”
And that’s why she hopes her sister’s mask will make a difference saying, “Wearing a mask is the greatest act of kindness.”