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Condition of 2 Frustaci Infants Worsens

Times Staff Writer

The condition of two of the five surviving Frustaci septuplets--already critical--worsened Monday, hospital officials said.

James Martin and Bonnie Marie, the second and fourth infants born to Patti and Sam Frustaci on May 21, are being closely monitored at Childrens Hospital of Orange County, hospital spokesman Doug Wood said.

“They just took a turn for the worse,” Wood said. “Their lungs are in extremely poor condition.”

The remaining three infants, Patricia Ann, Stephen Earl and Richard Charles, “are stable and continue to make improvements,” Wood said.

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All five remain on ventilators to combat hyaline membrane disease, which makes their lungs tend to collapse after each breath because the infants lack a substance to keep their air sacs open.

The level of oxygen being supplied to James and Bonnie has been increased since their condition worsened, Wood said.

The septuplets were delivered by Caesarian section at adjacent St. Joseph Hospital in Orange to Frustaci, a 30-year-old Riverside high school English teacher who had taken fertility drugs. The seventh infant, later named Christina Elizabeth, was stillborn. The sixth, David Anthony and nicknamed “Peanut” because of his size, died 64 hours later.

The babies’ changed condition prompted the Frustacis to cancel scheduled interviews on three television network morning news shows Monday, said the couple’s attorney, Andrew Wallet of Beverly Hills.

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The interviews would have coincided with this week’s publication of a People magazine cover story on the septuplets.


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