Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 17 October |
Saint of the Day: St. Ignatius of Antioch
Aleteia logo
home iconInspiring Stories
line break icon

A simple cuddle from his sibling saved this premature baby’s life


Elena Stepanova | Shutterstock

Cerith Gardiner - published on 12/02/19

These twins show the real miracle of love.

When Hannah Zimunya went into labor unexpectedly at 25 weeks into her pregnancy with twins, she was rushed to the hospital — but gave birth two days later. Hannah and her husband Xavi welcomed two tiny little boys — Dylan, 2 lbs, and Deiniol, 1 lb 9 oz. While both boys were taken to a neonatal unit at a hospital in Bolton, England, Dylan began to thrive and was transferred to another hospital in Wrexham, about 60 miles away.

With his bigger brother gone, Deiniol’s health started to deteriorate. The little baby needed 100% oxygen to keep him alive, but 14 weeks after his birth doctors started to believe that the deterioration in his health would be fatal. So Dylan came back to the hospital to say goodbye to his twin brother. Placed in the same incubator, the reunion with his brother started to have an effect.

Although the boys only spent five minutes together, hours later Deiniol’s condition looked to be improving and he needed only 50% oxygen. However, with his brother no longer by his side, Deiniol was soon needing a 100% oxygen supply again. They brought Dylan back to stay with his brother and just two days later Deiniol was taken off his ventilator completely. “It really was a miracle. He saved his life with a cuddle. It was brilliant to watch and it showed all of us that they should never have been separated,” his mom shared with the BBC.

From then on the boys stayed together in the Bolton hospital for two months. After providing his brother with a good dose of sibling love, Dylan left the hospital in January this year and Deiniol finally went home four months later.

The twins recently celebrated their first birthday with their three big siblings. The baby brothers are thriving, though Deiniol still needs a small supply of oxygen until his lungs are fully formed.

The wonders of medical science are allowing such premature babies to have a chance at life. And while medical research can’t prove the life-saving qualities of a twin hug, sometimes the miracle of love is really that powerful.


Read more:
This one specific type of music can help build the brain of premature babies


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

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
A scientist describes the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima
Agnès Pinard Legry
Three brothers ordained priests on the same day in the Philippine...
Cerith Gardiner
Archbishop gives little girl a beautiful response about why God a...
difficult people
Zoe Romanowsky
How to love people you don’t really like
Margaret Rose Realy, Obl.OSB
The ‘Tree of Death’ haunts many a cemetery
Philip Kosloski
How the violence in ‘Squid Game’ can impact your soul
Larry Peterson
This is the only officially recognized Marian apparition in the U...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.