Premature twins defy the odds to celebrate first birthdays

Grace and her twin sister Amelia were born prematurely on October 13, 2017, at just 27 weeks' gestation. Amelia weighed 880g while Grace weighed 1300g before her weight dropped dramatically.

They arrived early after contracting twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) — a condition affecting about 10 per cent of identical twins in New Zealand.

It can affect identical twins who share a placenta (monochorionic twins). It occurs when there is an imbalance in the placenta vessels connecting the twins, meaning that blood doesn't flow evenly between them.

But against all odds — with their parents warned the girls may not survive — Grace and her identical-twin sister Amelia turned one last month.

"It's been a crazy year. They both came home on oxygen tanks. The family has left the house twice this year. A couple of weeks ago I went to see my sister and visited my parents who live two streets away. We go to the doctors or to hospital — that is about the extent of it."

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Thank you to The Neonatal Trust's Partners