Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 | 5:34 p.m.
A private jet served as stork today — delivering a Las Vegas family and their newborn quintuplets home.
Evonne Derrico, Las Vegas, gave birth to the quintuplets Sept. 6 at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, Ariz., where she had temporarily relocated while awaiting the babies’ arrival. Her husband, Deon Derrico, made frequent trips back and forth.
Today, the quints — two boys and three girls — begin their stay at Summerlin Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. A private medical jet made three trips from central Arizona to Las Vegas, shuttling the babies in phases, accompanied by their father, mother or grandmother.
The last flight carrying Evonne Derrico and the youngest baby, daughter Daiten, should arrive early this evening, Deon Derrico said.
“It feels so good to be back on Nevada soil,” he said during a news conference at the hospital. “There is no place like home.”
Deon and Evonne Derrico also have four other children: a 7-year-old daughter, 3-year-old son and 1-year-old twin boys.
The newest additions to the Derrico clan, who were conceived naturally, are: Deniko (boy), Dariz (boy), Deonee (girl), Daician (girl) and Daiten (girl).
Starting each name with the letter “D” – a family tradition – proved to be a challenge, Deon Derrico admits.
“We ran out of names,” he said, laughing.
All babies are doing well and gaining strength, Deon Derrico said. They now range in weight from 2 pounds, 5 ounces, to 3 pounds, 6 ounces.
Dr. Martha Knutsen, director of Summerlin Hospital’s NICU, said she expected the babies to be strong enough to go home within a month.
This is the hospital’s first time caring for quintuplets.
“We’re very well prepared and, obviously, this is what we do,” said Robert Freymuller, chief executive officer of Summerlin Hospital. “We look forward to caring for them until everyone is discharged.”
Deon Derrico said his wife was looking forward to sleeping in her own bed again tonight. Deon Derrico described his wife’s health as “excellent.”
“Aside from a good wife of mine, she seems to be a good baby-making machine,” Deon Derrico said. “She bounces right back.”
The couple always wanted a large family, he said, but learning that they were expecting quintuplets left them feeling humbled and speechless.
Deon Derrico thanked the Las Vegas community for its outpouring of support and continued prayers as the family transitions into this next stage. First up on the agenda: converting a bonus room into a nursery, which will free up two other bedrooms for guests.
“We’re trying to make this thing as easy as possible because we realize we’re going to need help,” he said.