'Miracle' twins defy odds to celebrate their first birthday
'MIRACLE' twins who were born more than three months early and who doctors thought would not survive were celebrating their first birthday this week.
Atherstone's Grace and Ethan Hart have battled against the odds and fought serious medical conditions – but they were all smiles on Tuesday when they attended a special birthday party at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
Grace, still in hospital receiving treatment, was born weighing only 1lb 14oz and Ethan weighed in at 2lb 4oz.
"We thought they might never make it," mum Dawn told the Herald this week.
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"It has been a huge ordeal with both the children."
Ethan had a stroke sometime before birth which left him with brain damage.
He returned home at the end of September, but when he stopped breathing he was rushed back into hospital and stayed there until November.
Grace has suffered a range of serious medical conditions and a respiratory infection that nearly killed her.
It is hoped she can return home next month. But Dawn and husband Garry said they had received a lot of support and that the party went "brilliantly".
It was held on Ward 28.
"The hospital wanted to make it as normal for us as possible," Dawn said. "We can take Grace out but not for long periods of time.
"There were lots of party hats and cakes and they enjoyed being the centre of attention."
She continued: "It has been a really difficult year. We used to run our own business, Amitayus Wellbeing centre, but we had to close because of what was happening."
Dawn said with a premature birth babies could be sent anywhere in the country – both twins had been born at Sheffield and also spent time at Walsgrave Hospital and Leicester Royal Infirmary.
"Little is really known about premature birth and not many families have to endure what we have been through with one twin at home and one in hospital," Dawn said.
"There were times where we had two babies in two separate hospitals. But we have had a lot of support from everyone and that has meant a lot to us over the year."