Little fighters! The amazing tale of survival of twin boys who clung to life after being born FOUR MONTHS premature
No matter what happens to Billy and Kaydon James from now on, they can count themselves extremely lucky to be alive… and to have each other.
The twin boys were given the slimmest odds of survival after arriving at just 23 weeks.
But the brothers – who each weighed less than 2lb when born – are finally home after stunning hospital staff with their inspirational fight for life.
Proud parents: Gareth James and Kelly Hough hold their twin sons Billy (left) and Kaydon. Ms Hough said: 'it was amazing that they made it and we couldnt be happier'
It’s a homecoming that delighted parents Kelly Hough, 28, and Gareth James, 25, from Sale Moor, Greater Manchester.
They were desperate for children and finally conceived thanks to IVF treatment. But they were devastated when Kelly went into early labour and was rushed to Wythenshawe Hospital, where doctors were unable to stop the contractions.
Just five hours later, Billy arrived – weighing 1lb 10oz.
Four minutes later he was followed by Kaydon, weighing 1lb 7oz.
Too small to hold: Billy James in his incubator after being born at just 23 weeks. Weighing 1lb 10oz, he was immediately taken to an intensive care ward – and his parents were not allowed to hold him for a month
Little fighter: Like his brother, Kaydon was given a slim chance of survival after being born weighing 1lb 7oz. After four months in hospital, Jaydon joined his brother at home – a fortnight after his due birth date
They were immediately taken to intensive care – and their parents were unable to hold them for a month during the critical recovery stage.
The boys were born on September 22 and weren’t due until January 13.
Billy was allowed home the day before his due date and Kaydon followed a fortnight later.
Doctors are hopeful they will have a bright future but mother Ms Hough said it was still too early to say if they would have any long-term difficulties.
Dedicated: Ms Hough paid tribute to the tireless work of staff at the Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester. They undoubtedly saved the lives of Billy and Kaydon
She said: 'We really wanted children, so it was really upsetting when I went into labour so early.
'I’d had a normal pregnancy and just thought it was back pain but I went to hospital to get checked out and when they said I was having contractions, it was pretty scary.
'I didn’t think they stood much chance at 23 weeks. When they were born they were so small we didn’t know what to expect but it was amazing that they made it and we couldn’t be happier.'
The boys' parents, both sales managers, never gave up hope – despite Billy and Kaydon being born with a catalogue of health problems, from jaundice to bleeds on the brain.
Record holders: Lee and Amanda Burden with their twins Amelia Hope and Arthur. The children are the smallest-born in the UK – at 1lb 2oz and 1lb 4oz
Ms Hough added: 'It’s thanks to the dedication and expert care of hospital staff that our beautiful boys are now at home and doing well.
'We love being parents and the midwives were fantastic. They put the boys in incubators next to each other and went out of their way to help us. We will always be grateful.'
Billy now weighs 8lb 5oz and Kaydon is 7lb 15oz.
The UK record for smallest surviving twins is held by Amelia Hope Burden and her brother Arthur.
They were born in July 2010 in Portsmouth.
Amelia weighed 1lb 2oz and arrived at 23 weeks and two days and Arthur, who arrived 10 days later, weighing 1lb 4oz.