In a remarkable journey of resilience and unity, the Rosenkowitz sextuplets, born on January 11, 1974, celebrate their 50 birthday today. They hold the distinction of being the first known set of sextuplets to survive infancy, a milestone that placed them in the global spotlight.
Image: The Go-To Guy Creations
A Historic Birth
Susan Wilson, a native Briton who moved to South Africa in 1967, gave birth to the sextuplets at Mowbray Maternity Hospital in Cape Town. The infants – David Peter, Grant Vincent, Jason Solomon, Emma Louise, Nicolette Anne, and Elizabeth Rebecca – were born about four weeks early, with their combined birth weight totaling 24 pounds 4 ounces (about 11kg).
Early Challenges and International Attention
The births captured international attention as the world watched in awe and anticipation. The sextuplets' survival was uncertain, but they defied odds, growing stronger each day. Their parents, Susan and Colin Rosenkowitz, navigated the complexities of raising such a large family, especially after their divorce in 1989. Colin, who took sole custody of the eight children, including the sextuplets and their two older siblings, spoke about the challenges and joys of raising them.
A Life in the Limelight
The sextuplets have frequently been featured in the media, celebrating milestones and sharing their individual journeys. From wearing matching outfits at birthday parties to asserting their independence on their 21st birthday, they have always emphasised their individuality despite their shared fame. "We’re individuals, each with our path," Emma noted during their 21st birthday celebration.
Image: Grant Rosenkowitz Facebook Page
Global Spread and Diverse Lives
As of 2013, the sextuplets have lived in various locations around the world. David resides in Australia, Nicolette in Cape Town (South Africa) and London (UK), Grant and Samantha in Cape Town, Jason in Cork (Ireland), Emma in London, and Elizabeth in Kent (UK). Their global spread is a testament to their diverse interests and paths in life.
Parental Struggles and Triumphs
Colin Rosenkowitz's journey, from his early life in an orphanage to raising a large family, has been marked by resilience and dedication. He worked tirelessly until the age of 83 to provide for his family. The sextuplets’ mother, Susan, recalled the overwhelming experience of giving birth and raising the sextuplets. Despite the challenges, she expressed no regrets: "I wouldn't change anything ... my children are wonderful.”
A Legacy of Survival and Success
Now, as they turn 50, the Rosenkowitz sextuplets continue to be celebrated for their historic survival and individual achievements. Their story is not just one of medical marvel but also of a family's enduring bond and resilience in the face of extraordinary circumstances.
This milestone birthday is not just a celebration for the Rosenkowitz family but a reminder of the incredible journey they have shared with the world. As they continue to make their mark individually, their collective legacy as the first surviving sextuplets remains a significant part of medical and social history.