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The mother of the UK’s most premature twins reports that they are progressing and thriving

The mother of the UK’s youngest twins says they are “getting better and better” a year after returning from hospital. Harley and Harry Crane, from Derbyshire, had no chance of survival when they were born in October 2021 at just 22 weeks and 5 days – more than a week before the usual abortion deadline.

But the difficult siblings defied the odds and returned home after 140 days in the neonatal intensive care unit. The baby is now 17 months old, the couple is very happy and healthy at home. And a year after leaving the hospital, mother Jade Crane, 41, said she was finally free of fear and knew her miracle children would “stay here”.

Harley, who was born with a diminutive 500g, is now a “crazy” who weighs 24 pounds and stands tall. Her brother Harry was born weighing 520g and has now reached 20 lbs. He’s a little retarded, but is “trying to crawl”. Parents Jade and Steve, 53, who work in sales, said they couldn’t be more proud of their twins and look forward to their future.

Jade, a former mental health nurse and addiction counselor, says: ‘We are very fortunate and blessed that they are doing so well. ‘That’s crazy. Last year we were really scared. It’s completely new to us. They are here and they stay here. Now I feel confident. ‘They’re getting better and better. Their personalities haven’t changed since they were born.

‘Harley is the fiery one and Harry is the Mr. Laid-Back. That’s the way they are now but amplified. They love each other.’ Jade and Steve underwent 11 years of fertility treatment before the two embryos implanted in the eighth cycle of IVF produced a set of twins.

She said, “I can’t believe it. I was so scared of having a miscarriage or that something was wrong. “As a result, I actually did nothing during my pregnancy.”I still couldn’t believe we were 20 weeks and I wasn’t even in my third trimester when I went into labor, so we didn’t buy anything.” After a fluid leak, Jade went to Queens Medical Hospital in Nottingham for a check-up in October 2021.

An internal examination revealed she had premature rupture of membranes – which membranes are found. The fetus ruptures before labor begins. At 22 weeks pregnant, the mother feared that the twins would not survive. She SWNS said, “They told me they were going to accept me but I probably had a miscarriage.

“The doctor kept saying it was a miscarriage but I said I couldn’t because I could feel the baby’s movements. “I know they’re fine but I’ve been told they won’t survive this pregnancy.” Abortion law in the UK states that a woman can terminate a pregnancy up to 24 weeks in most cases – and a doctor is not required to intervene before that time.

Jade was fortunate that the hospital where she was being treated, Queen’s Medical Centre, is a teaching hospital and that clinicians intervene with infants born 23 weeks and later, she added. Jade was still 30 hours away from the 23-week mark when she went into labor on October 26, 2021, but physicians decided to interfere, she said.

My babies were given a 0% chance of survival, said Jade. They cried they were moving, and they were alive. Their little screams sounded like a cat in its infancy. Little Harley and Harry were intubated and taken to the neonatal intensive care unit where they remained on ventilators. The twins had many procedures as they fought necrotizing enterocolitis, a dangerous gastrointestinal condition, and chronic lung illness.

Harley had to have a stoma bag fitted, which has since been removed, and Harry received injections in his eyes to help prevent premature blindness. Harry came home on March 6 last year and Harley joined him a week later. Jade said: ‘I’m so proud of my babies – they’re little fighters.’

Aside from a week back in the hospital when Harley contracted respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the twins are doing well, and both came off oxygen in July last year. Jade said: ‘It was an anxious time. You expect them to be back in the hospital. A week later Harley was – with RSV. ‘But we’ve had nothing further despite the bag being packed and ready to go..’

The twins’ corrected age is 13 months old and Harley is on track with her milestones. Jade said: ‘She’s standing up. She’ll walk soon. I’m really happy with that. ‘Harry shows a few more delays. We have concerns over Harry potentially having a mild form of cerebral palsy. ‘He’s trying to crawl around. He’s a bit more behind but Harley will drag him along.’ The family won’t get an official diagnosis until Harry is two, but Jade feels ‘lucky’ her twins are doing so well.

Rhiannon Ingle
Rhiannon Ingle
Journalist at the Medialinker Group


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