A resilient family will be completing their emotional journey with a fundraiser one year after their twins were born at 27 weeks with a 50/50 chance of survival.
Jody and Barry Phillipson went to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire on August 20 last year after Jody experienced mild pains.
After nurses did the some checks, they were told ‘your babies are coming and there is nothing we can do to stop them’.
“I was absolutely shocked that I was in labour and I will never forget hearing those words,” Jody said.
“Then a paediatrician came in and explained that the twins had a 50/50 chance of survival. It was unbelievable and there is nothing that can prepare you for something like that.”
Little Luke and Eva were born the following day, weighing 2lb 4oz and 2lb 1oz respectively.
We will always be grateful to the amazing staff that saved our babies’ lives. Without them, they would not be here today.Jody Phillipson
As soon as they were born, the tiny babies were placed inside plastic bags and moved into incubators.
“The team had explained before hand that they would need to put the babies into bags as their skin couldn’t handle being around air as it hadn’t developed properly,” Jody said.
“They took the time to explain things carefully and it really helped, if I hadn’t of known that it was normal to do that then I would have thought we had lost them when seeing them go into bags. It’s just one example of how excellent and caring the staff are there.”
The twins were placed on life support machines and had specialist care throughout their stay at UHCW.
Jody said: “It was an incredibly emotional and tense time but the staff were amazing throughout. They never gave us false hope because they knew that would be unfair, but they comforted us and were so sensitive. They said that with things like this it’s a case of two steps forward and one step back, and that proved to be right. They really are miracle babies.”
The twins slowly started to build up strength and were gradually moved through various departments of the hospital, relying less and less on staff and spending more time with mum and dad.
“Not being able to hold your babies after they are born is heartbreaking,” Jody said.
“All the dreams I had of holding my babies to my chest were ruined as we could only look at them in the incubators and that was very hard to deal with. Having to walk out of the hospital and go home in order to sleep and eat is the hardest thing imaginable when your whole life is in a little glass box. But that’s why you have to trust the amazing staff, they are looking after the most precious things in the world to you and they know exactly what they are doing.”
Luke finally came home after 83 days in hospital and Eva followed him five days later.
Jody said: “Luke and Eva are happy, healthy and very content children, and they have just celebrated their first birthdays. We will always be grateful to the amazing staff that saved our babies’ lives. Without them, they would not be here today.”
The family have arranged a sponsored walk/run/cycle around Draycote Water called ‘Miracle Miles’ to raise money in aid of the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire Charity.
The event will be held on Saturday September 19 and there is a fundraising target of £5,000. Money raised will help support the Neonatal Team at UHCW. Each mile of the course will be marked by a milestone in the babies’ lives, including coming home for the first time.