Scotland’s youngest surviving premature twins marked World Prematurity day with a visit to the hospital where they were born to thank staff for their care.
Tillie and Lottie Fowler, who were born 17 weeks early, had a combined weight of less than three pounds.
The pair then spent the next 125 days in the Princess Royal Maternity in Glasgow where they first arrived into the world on 11 August 2016.
Parents Jenna and Stuart Fowler, from Glasgow, brought their daughters to the hospital to thank staff and meet other parents with premature babies.
Worldwide, 15 million babies are born premature (before 37 weeks) and more than a million die as a result.
In Scotland over 6,000 babies are born premature or sick annually.
Mrs Fowler said by the time the babies were ready to go home she and her husband knew all the staff by name. “I had no warning either as everything with my pregnancy was going great up until then.
“With twins there is always a higher chance of prematurity and the fact they are mono mono twins increases the chances even more. This means as well as being identical, they shared both their amnions and chorions (membrane around embryos) and placenta too. It’s very rare – about one on 10,000 births.
“As you can imagine, it was all very scary but the care we received was amazing and we can’t thank them enough for the emotional help to get through this journey.
“Carolyn Abernethy, our neonatal consultant was with us from day one and will continue to monitor the twins until they are two. Our community nurse too, was amazing and supported us well when we got the girls home on oxygen.
“We are just so grateful to have the twins and realise just how lucky we are.”
Sharon Foster, neonatal intensive care nurse, who helped care for Lottie and Tillie, said: “It was lovely to see the mums, dads and especially the babies back on the ward and looking so healthy and big.
“It makes all the difficult moments so worthwhile when they come back to visit and we can see for ourselves how well they are doing.”
Lynne Duffy from Glasgow, whose baby Keilan was born at 25 weeks and 4 days in March 2016, said: “I don’t know if it’s because he has an older brother and sisters, but he’s really coming on great. He walked at what would have been his first birthday and he’s repeating everything I say, so it’s really amazing how far he has come.
“Our care was incredible and we really did feel like number one – every member of staff gave him 100 per cent.
“I always felt the nurses really knew him and could tell if he was having a good or bad day.
“I honestly believe he is only here because of the care he got from Dr Allan Jackson and I can’t think him and the team enough.”