A mother has praised the ‘unbreakable bond’ between her untimely twin boys after they won the battle of life being born at 25 weeks against the odds.
Hannah Zimunya, 28, from Wrexham, North Wales, was told to prepare for the worst when she went into labor 15 weeks early.
Her twins, Dylan and Deiniol, weighed just 2lbs and 1lbs 9oz when they were born at Maelor Hospital in Wrexham last October.
Their lungs were so undeveloped they were transferred to the nearest neonatal intensive care unit in Royal Bolton Hospital 60 miles (97km) away.
There, they were pinned up to breathing machines and wrapped in plastic body bags to recreate the warmth and humidity of the womb.
After 14 weeks in the hospital, Dylan’s condition started to improvise, and he was allowed to return home.
But Deiniol, who was relied on ventilators to breathe, continued to deteriorate after he was split from his brother.
Doctors organized the parents of Dylan, mother-of-five Hannah and husband Xavi, 40, to visit the younger brother to say goodbye.
But according to Mrs. Zimunya, just hours after the twins spent some time together and hugged up in the incubator, Deiniol’s oxygen levels started to boost up, and his condition improved dramatically.
She said doctors arranged for Dylan to come back for another cuddle two days later, and his brother was able to be taken off the ventilator completely.
Similar to the way a premature baby’s heart rate and breathing can improve with prolonged skin-to-skin contact with a parent, it is thought the comfort of physical closeness can work wonders not yet understood by experts.
After a seven month stay in the hospital, Deiniol was finally fit and healthy enough to go home.
Doctors are so shocked that there is no scientific explanation for the sudden change in their health – although many parents of twins believe in what has become known as the ‘rescuing hug.’
Doctors tried to delay birth for one more week to increase the boys’ chances of survival.
Mrs. Zimunya spent 52 hours in labor, giving birth naturally as it was the safest way for the delivery of babies.
Within 12 hours, both babies had been transferred to the Royal Bolton Hospital and relied upon ventilators, which would breathe for them while they built up enough strength to go home.
Now both boys are back home and enjoying family life with their older siblings, TJ, eight, Lily, six, and Thandi, three. They celebrated their first birthday last month.
Deiniol is still receiving 24/7 oxygen at home, but his dose is being incrementally lowered until the lungs are healthy enough to breathe independently.