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Miracle Twins Born at 22 Weeks and 5 Days Defy the Odds, Thriving at 17 Months Old

The mother of the UK’s youngest twins, Harley and Harry Crane, has shared the miraculous story of their survival despite being born more than a week before the usual abortion deadline. Jade Crane, 41, and her husband Steve, 53, who work in sales, were overjoyed when their twins defied the odds and returned home after spending 140 days in the neonatal intensive care unit. A year after leaving the hospital, Jade said she was finally free of fear and knew her miracle children would “stay here”.

Despite having no chance of survival, Harley and Harry were born in October 2021 at just 22 weeks and 5 days, with Harley weighing a diminutive 500g and Harry weighing 520g. However, the difficult siblings continued to amaze their parents, with Harley now weighing 24 pounds and standing tall, and Harry reaching 20 lbs, though he is “a little retarded” and “trying to crawl”.

Jade and Steve, who underwent 11 years of fertility treatment before the two embryos implanted in the eighth cycle of IVF produced a set of twins, said they couldn’t be more proud of their children and look forward to their future. According to Jade, the twins’ personalities haven’t changed since birth. Harley is the fiery one while Harry is Mr. Laid-Back. “That’s the way they are now but amplified. They love each other,” Jade said.

Jade said she couldn’t believe it when she found out she was pregnant after years of trying. As a result, she did nothing during her pregnancy, living in fear of having a miscarriage or that something was wrong. “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,” she said.

Jade went to Queens Medical Hospital in Nottingham for a check-up in October 2021, where an internal examination revealed she had premature rupture of membranes, which occurs when the fetus ruptures before labor begins. At 22 weeks pregnant, Jade feared that the twins would not survive, and the doctor kept saying it was a miscarriage. Abortion law in the UK states that a woman can terminate a pregnancy up to 24 weeks in most cases, but Jade was fortunate that the hospital where she was being treated, Queen’s Medical Centre, is a teaching hospital that intervenes with infants born 23 weeks and later.

Jade’s babies were given a 0% chance of survival. However, when they were born, they cried, moved, and were alive. Little Harley and Harry were intubated and taken to the neonatal intensive care unit, where they remained on ventilators. The twins underwent 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. 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. Although Harry shows a few more delays, Jade feels “lucky” that her twins are doing so well. The family won’t get an official diagnosis until Harry is two, but Jade remains optimistic and said: “I’m so proud of my babies – they’re little fighters.”

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