Twins born weighing less than a pound beat the odds and survive

Avril Morgan | Shutterstock

Despite a 1% chance of living, these twins born at 23 weeks bring hope and joy.

Last April 26, Joe and Ashley Keates made their entrance into the world a little earlier than expected at just 23 weeks. While doctors gave them a 1% chance of survival at the time, seven months later, the twins are doing well and exceeding doctors’ expectations.

According to reports, the baby boys are the youngest twins in England to have survived a premature birth. As reported in, their mom, Talia Keates, explained that science has shown that premature twin boys have even less chance of survival than girls. So the fact that both boys are surpassing the odds is incredible. “Ashley and Joe are my bouncing little miracles,” said their mom. “I feel extremely lucky and very grateful. I guess they are one in a million.”

Keates explained that when Joe’s amniotic sac burst at 23 weeks, this set off the delivery of both boys. Joe was born weighing 15.1 ounces, and Ashley arrived weighing a little less, at 14.2 ounces — although one single ounce at this age can make a  big difference.

The doctors didn’t think the boys stood much chance of survival, but after 129 days in intensive care, the babies were finally able to go home, with Joe donning clothes sized 0-3 months, and his little brother wearing slightly smaller newborn onesies.

Their birth and survival is a testimony to the wonders of medical advances, and the miracle of birth itself. Although the youngest ever survival of a premature baby was a little girl born at 21 weeks and four days, successful births like that of Joe and Ashley have prompted the British Medical Association to alter their guidelines in treating premature babies; authorizing medical intervention for births at 22 weeks instead of 24 weeks.


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