Calvin Willis, the father of one who became the father of five within a few minutes Thursday morning, will be back behind the wheel of his cab today.
Willis, who said he has "talked to just about everybody, everywhere," since his wife Joanna gave birth to quadruplets Thursday morning at George Washington University Medical Center, plans to start supporting his suddenly large family sometime today.
"It is back to work for me," said Willis who estimated that his weekly salary is $125. "I've been talking for two days, I'm tired of talking. It is time to take care of my family, start paying the bills."
Willis said yesterday he has received several offers of contracts and deals to help support his family since news of his wife's multiple births became known.
"I've had calls from cranks who want me to give them my signature so they can send out letters asking for money," he said. "And we've had donations from nice people too, but I'm not saying how much because I don't want anyone thinking I'm getting a whole lot of money."
The cab driver said he is hiring a lawyer to read the contract from a television station offering him money for an interview.
"I understand that other people who have had triplets and quadruplets have gotten money for interviews," Willis said. "I haven't gotten anything."
Telling a reporter he didn't want to talk further for nothing, he abruptly ended the conversation.
Willis did say that he has received layettes, diapers, offers of cribs and other baby room paraphenalia from well-wishers. "I'm very appreciative of all that people have done," he said. "I'm not going to leave anybody unthanked."
Meanwhile, at the hospital, 30-year-old Jonna Willis and her four children were all doing well, according to their doctors. "Three of the babies should be out of the hospital in the next three or four days," said Dr! Jorge Srabstein, director of George Washington's newborn services.
Strabstein said the fourth child, who was the smallest, should be out of the hospital within 10 days. Mrs. Willis, who underwent a cesarean operation, should be leaving the hospital within the next week, the doctor said.
"It is not the case that the children are on a respirator nor is it a question of whether they will make it or not," said Dr. Srabstein.
All of the children have survived with relative ease, compared to other multiple birth children in recent years, he said, because the mother was diagnosed weeks in advance as having more than two children.
"The diagnosis allowed the obstetrician to bring the mother to the hospital and follow the pregnancy in a controlled manner that avoided premature labor," the doctor said.
He explained that most deaths among children born in multiple births is caused by hyaline membrane disease, which he defined as weak, immature lungs that are not sufficiently developed or strong enough to support the child.
By bringing the mother into the hospital early the doctors were able to avoid radical premature births, Srabstein said.
The Willis children were born only three to four weeksprior to a full-term, 40-week gestation, the doctor said.