‘Miracle’ conjoined twins have separation operation delayed after babies catch Covid

Hannah and Nick Bateson, from Toomebridge, Co Antrim, found out their babes were conjoined twins in a 12-week scan

Matt Mathers
Thursday 05 May 2022 16:35
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Parents tell This Morning about 'miracle' birth of conjoined twins

A couple has told how their "miracle" conjoined twins' separation has been delayed after they caught Covid.

Hannah and Nick Bateson, from Toomebridge, Co Antrim, found out their babes were conjoined twins in a 12-week scan.

Conjoined twins are extremely rare, affecting around only one in every 2.5 million pregnancies.

The couple, both in their early 30s, welcomed Annabell and Isabelle into the world in March.

The babies are attached from the chest to the pelvis and share a bladder, bowel and have a fused leg.

Crucially, they have separate hearts which means doctors can attempt to separate them.

Hannah and Nick Bateson with Annabell and Isabelle

Speaking to ITV This Morning on Wednesday, Ms Bateson, an NHS support worker, said she and her two children caught Covid shortly after leaving hospital.

The surgery had been planned for the end of May but has now been put back due to the illness. She said she hopes the procedure "goes well."

“They’ll be going for surgeries for the rest of their lives and we’re hoping their quality of life should be good, they’re going to fly through it," she added. "It’s going to be more challenging for us.”

The couple also spoke of their struggle to conceive and how they were shocked when they first found out they were pregnant.

Ms Bateson also told of the moment she found out she was having twins.

She said: “The midwife kept it very very calm at that point she told us it was twins, but that we should see the consultant at the local hospital.

“We knew they were concerned but we were referred then to fetal medicine in Belfast.

“That’s when we were told [the twins were conjoined[. It never dawned on us that was going to be a possibility."

She added: “As we were doing this scan, it dawned on both of us. Before the consultant even said and I asked, 'Are they conjoined?' and he said, 'Yes I think they are.'"

The couple was referred to London’s University College Hospital, where the babies were delivered by a specialist team in March.

From there, they were transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital, the leading specialist hospital in Europe for separating conjoined twins, where the operation will take place.

The family is now fundraising to help pay the cost of travelling back and forth to London.

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