What a dif­fer­ence a year makes...

Glossop Advertiser - - News - Kather­ine Bain­bridge

WITH their bright eyes and cheeky smiles, these twins look like any other ba­bies about to cel­e­brate their first birth­day.

In truth, it’s hard to be­lieve Diana and Elias Burghel were ac­tu­ally born ex­actly 10 weeks early.

And it is only thanks to the work of staff at three hos­pi­tals that they mirac­u­lously sur­vived.

When the tiny tots were born they each weighed around three pounds, and were able to fit into the palms of their dad Ge­orge’s hands.

Both needed to be ven­ti­lated and had a num­ber of com­pli­ca­tions. How­ever, af­ter re­ceiv­ing care at hos­pi­tals in Stock­port, Tame­side and Pre­ston, they pulled through.

Doc­tors say they’re un­likely to suf­fer any long-term ef­fects.

Mum Heather, 28, a GP from Stock­port, said she and Ge­orge were ‘ over­joyed’ when she fell preg­nant.

Hav­ing been born at Tame­side Hospi­tal, Heather de­cided she wanted to have her twins there.

But from 24 weeks she be­gan suf­fer­ing com­pli­ca­tions that saw her ad­mit­ted to the hospi­tal a num­ber of times.

She said: “Thank­fully the ba­bies did ‘stick’ for a fur­ther six weeks, as the story could have been very dif­fer­ent if they had come any sooner.

“My wa­ters broke dur­ing an ad­mis­sion to Tame­side just be­fore I reached 30 weeks, and it was the ex­pe­ri­ence of the con­sult- ant to make the very wise de­ci­sion to move me to the near­est hospi­tal with two avail­able NICU (neona­tal in­ten­sive care unit) beds.”

Heather was moved to the Royal Pre­ston, and went into labour the fol­low­ing day. The twins were de­liv­ered by emer­gency c-sec­tion on Au­gust 22 last year.

Heather said: “I was so glad the de­ci­sion was made to move us, or we would have been mak­ing the jour­ney af­ter the twins were born when they were very un­sta­ble, and this would have been very risky.

“They were tiny, they fit­ted in our palms. No clothes would fit them un­til they were five weeks old, and even then the pre­ma­ture baby clothes looked big.”

Elias had to be on a ven­ti­la­tor for five days and Diana needed a non-in­va­sive form of ven­ti­la­tion to help her breathe. Elias also needed an­tibi­otics for an in­fec­tion, and re­quired a blood trans­fu­sion due to se­vere anaemia.

They spent two weeks at Pre­ston, and then an­other six weeks be­ing cared for at Step­ping Hill, and Heather says she has ‘never ap­pre­ci­ated the NHS so much’.

She said: “The care we re­ceived through­out was ex­cep­tional.

“Even though I have a tinge of sad­ness af­ter re­turn­ing to work as a trainee GP now they are 12 months old, I feel priv­i­leged to be able to give a lit­tle some­thing back to the or­gan­i­sa­tion that pretty much saved our ba­bies.”

●● Elias and Diana now and, in­set, when they were born with mum Heather

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