The first-ever surviving set of African-American sextuplets have graduated from high school, with all six gearing up to continue their education in the fall.
Chris and Diamond Harris from Birmingham, Alabama welcomed their six babies in 2002, with Diamond delivering via C-section at 26.5 weeks.
Nearly 18 years later, the odds-defying children are all grown up and officially high school graduates, and achievement they celebrated together last week.
‘The morning of the ceremony, I sat in bed looking at their baby pictures and felt depressed,’ Diamond, 45, told Today. “It’s going to be too quiet.”
“These kids have been my life for almost 18 years. They have been my reason,’ added Chris, 46. ‘I keep reminding myself it’s just going to be different, but everything will be OK.“
The sextuplets turn 18 on July 8, and the next month, they’ll pack for the next stages in their lives.
Kiera and Kobe will attend Lawson State Community College, with Kiera studying cosmetology.
Kaylynne will go to Alabama State University for its physical therapy program.
Kaleb and Kieran will attend Alabama A&M, with Kaleb majoring in computer science and Kieran pursuing art.
Kyle, who has autism, will do a life skills program.
The Harris surviving set of African-American sextuplets have been followed by the media since their birth in 2002. Diamond, a nurse, already had a five-year-old from her first marriage when she was prescribed fertility drugs by her doctor.
When she first got the news that she was pregnant, she was told she was having twins. But a sonogram later showed them they were actually having five children.
Then Diamond developed a blood clot on her lung. She went to stay at University of Alabama Hospital in Birmingham, and at just 26.5 weeks along, she had to undergo a C-section.
However, during delivery the doctors found out that they were actually sextuplets.
At birth, each weighed between 1 lb. 3 oz. and 1 lb. 12 oz., which is normal premature babies, but doctors warned the parents that the first few days were the most dangerous.
‘Kaleb worried me,’ Diamond told NBC. ‘Because he was like transparent almost. I could see his organs. I could see his veins and I was really, really worried.’
The children remained in hospital for about about three months and were finally released at the end of October.