San Salvador, Jan 25 (IANS/EFE) The Salvadoran quintuplets who were given little chance of survival when they were born in 1995 are now 18 and busy planning for their futures.
"I thought they weren't going to make it. I thought at one point they were going to die; two of them were on the verge of death," the teens' father, Jose Abel del Cid, told EFE.
Some of the quintuplets remained hospitalized after their first few days of life due to low birth weight or to bronchial and stomach ailments, the media reported widely at the time.
Now after witnessing his children graduate from high school in December in spite of economic hardships, Del Cid, who accompanied them Wednesday to obtain their identity documents, said: "we hope they work ... and can pay to go to the university of their choice."
Thelma Estefanie, Irvin Norberto, Cristian Israel, Edwin Oswaldo and Milton Oliver del Cid Flores turned 18 last Saturday and celebrated the occasion with "a party in line with our possibilities", the father said.
The quintuplets' mother, Gladys Flores, gave birth to them prematurely Jan 19, 1995 at San Salvador's Maternity Hospital after a 32-week pregnancy.
Del Cid said he was working as a prison guard and taking home a salary of less than $200 at the time, but he later boosted his earnings by taking a job with the court system.
He added that his wife "couldn't get pregnant again" after the birth of their oldest daughter and underwent a fertility treatment that resulted in the multiple births.
"We weren't expecting five, just one or two, but you don't decide these things, God does; I thought they weren't going to make it," Del Cid said.