Pure Exclusion: Twin Boys Denied Due To Disability

Updated: Jul 17, 2021


Michelle Martin with sons Axel (left) and Jaxon (right)


By Spencer van Vloten

BC Disability

July 13th, 2021


Michelle Martin was excited for her twin boys Axel and Jaxon to start daycare. It would mean new fun, friends, and experiences for the boys, while also allowing her to resume her career full-time. But, as she would come to find, BC's childcare system isn't so accommodating for kids with disabilities.


Read more about the Martin family's ordeal at https://www.instagram.com/thefightingirishmartins


EXCITEMENT, THEN WORRY


Michelle and Chris Martin were overjoyed upon learning they were expecting twin boys.


The couple, now living in Langley, prepared with all the enthusiasm of doting parents to be; exchanging name ideas, shopping for matching cribs, and keenly taking pointers from friends and family.


But shortly into Michelle’s pregnancy, they received worrying news.


Doctors discovered that the boys suffered from twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, meaning, due to a lack of red blood cells, they were receiving inadequate oxygen and nutrients in the womb.


Malnourished as they were, the twins endured numerous health problems in utero, and were born prematurely at just 27-weeks.

Michelle at 24 weeks, and the boys shortly after being born


Axel and Jaxon Martin would spend the first 5 months of their lives at Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, where the situation looked less than promising: there were brain bleeds and strokes; they were both on ventilators; and doctors didn’t think they’d ever be leaving the hospital.


But the twins had too much fight in them, and they made it through, defying predictions and eventually moving out of the hospital and heading home with their parents.


LITTLE GUYS, BIG PERSONALITIES


The effects of their premature births grew more apparent as the boys aged. Both were diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy, while Jaxon was classified as legally blind and developed hydrocephalus, a brain condition requiring numerous surgeries.


Something else also emerged though— their personalities—and these made their health issues look tiny by comparison.

Jaxon and Michelle have fun; Axel shows off a toy


Axel, big brother by a minute, quickly developed a reputation as the more energetic of the two, always outgoing and eager to talk and play. Jaxon, on the other hand, proved to be more reserved, a great listener and a lover of music and cuddling.


And while health issues were always a concern, as the boys got older and reached toddlerhood they were coming into their own, ready to get out in the world, meet new friends, and try new things.