‘Last summer really showed us all that life is worth fighting for’ – Holly’s story

Twin babies wearing pyjamas lying on bed

Due to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), Twin to Twin transfusion syndrome and preeclampsia playing a massive part in the premature delivery of my twin girls, they arrived at 27 weeks 5 days. I was transferred from Singleton to The Grange Newport as we were told there was no bed space for me to deliver, so Newport was out home whilst the girls spent the first part of their lives trying to survive. My wonderful family took care of my 5-year-old daughter for the summer holidays, while we were grateful to be able to live in a house for parents with children in the NICU for the entirety of our time at The Grange.

The smallest twin (Ivy) weighing 572 grams had breathing support throughout our stay and left the hospital on oxygen. She also had several blood transfusions, lumbar puncture and caught sepsis among other infections. She looked so tiny in her incubator, but with time she showed us just how strong she was. No matter what was thrown her way...she chose to fight.

Her twin sister (Lily) weighing 1134 grams at birth has a slightly easier time during her stay. She started the same as her sister - intubated, CPAP - high flow - low flow but with her being that little bit bigger she didn't have many complications during her stay. She came home just before 70 days. Her main challenge going forward will be her physical ability, as she suffered a grade 2/3 brain bleed which has resulted in her having periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) and a likely diagnosis off cerebral palsy in the future.

The staff at The Grange saved both their lives. Without the intervention and expertise of the consultants, nurses, doctors, cleaners and all other staff members this would be a different story. The girls showed their fighting side which was possible from the expert care they received here. After transferring back to Singleton - our littlest twin spent the remainder of her hospital time there.

We finally came home together after 102 days in the NICU/HDU. We now have physiotherapy offered to us by the amazing Ceri at Singleton, where the girls are flourishing, our littlest twin is also no longer on oxygen. The girls are now thriving at home, laughing, smiling, and showing the world their gorgeous personalities. Although it's been a tough past year, I'm so proud of our whole family. Words will never be enough, and my heart goes out to any family going through similar circumstances. Last summer really showed us all that life is worth fighting for, my twin girls are the embodiment of strength and even in the darkest of hours during their time in hospital we were lucky enough to find happiness, friendship, and courage.