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16 October 2014

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Too Soon

By Danielle Truswell
Autumn 2007, Wrexham
A digital story from Yale College

"I sometimes look in the mirror and wonder what it would be like if there was two of me, an identical person, someone else who looked like me, spoke like me or maybe even thought in the same way I do.

Eighteen years ago, Charlotte and I were born almost 3 months premature and were both seriously ill. When I look at the photos of when I was born I realise just how lucky I am to be alive and perfectly healthy.

Just before Christmas 1988 my mum was rushed to the Osnabrook British Military Hospital but she only made it as far as the kinder clinic, the German civilian hospital. I weighed 2 pounds and 4 ounces, almost the same as a bag of sugar and Charlotte only weighed 1 pound and 14 ounces.

These photos that my Dad had taken show exactly how small and fragile we were. Sadly, Charlotte was that little bit too small and died at 6 months old. I found that when I talk to people about what happened they don't really know what to say. My mum told me that people always said "at least you have Danielle". My mum used to get really upset because she'd still lost a daughter and people didn't realise how hard it must still be for her. Every day she has to look at me and be reminded of Charlotte and how different our lives could have been if she'd survived. Life is full of "what ifs" but I am thankful for my life, my family and what I have."

Your comments

"Your story is heartfelt. Although I am not a twin, I do have siblings that are here with me and could not imagine what it will be like when they are not and I remain (if that is what God has planned). You are blessed to have had a sister and your story has made it clear that your are caring as well as loved. With Many Blessings!" Kelly Ruff from Fort Mill, SC, USA.

"Your story really touched my heart. To hear that you realize every day how lucky you are to be alive makes those of us with rather normal entrances into the world even more grateful for it. It seems to me that you think of Charlotte often which I believe is wonderful. To reflect on this person who you never got to really know is keeping her memory alive and showing the world that no matter how long someone is or isn't in your life, everyone leaves an impression with you ... we should all do ourselves a favour and remember that." Jennifer - Ontario, Canada.

"We don't know you, but you should be grateful for being alive. There is a reason why things happen. We wish you the best with everything in your life. Good luck." Ali G. & Ottilia M. blog from Karlsruhe.

"This is late, but better late than never. While researching Wales for some family related matters, came upon this website, and your inspirational story, too. I have roots in Corris and thought your comments heartfelt and very sincere -- a truly wonderful message for all.Am grateful to have seen your video, and to have heard the commentary about yourself, your twin sister, and your family, too. I think you are indeed blessed, and so is everyone else out here in the netherspace for having been able to know you in this very special way. From a much older Bill in Pine City." William Larson in Minnesota.

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