Wiltshire

Trowbridge premature twins weighed less than 1lb each

Mum Talia and dad Oliver Keates with twin boys Ashley and Joe
Image caption The twins complete the family of six for Talia and Oliver Keates

The parents of premature twins believed to be the smallest to survive in the UK have spoken of their joy at being able to bring them home.

Ashley and Joe Keates each weighed less than 1lb (403g and 429g) when they were born at 23 weeks at Southmead Hospital in Bristol on 16 April.

Mother Talia Keates from Trowbridge said they were told the twins chance of survival was "near to nothing".

"They are our little miracles," she and husband Oliver Keates said.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption When Ashley and Joe were born they weighed just 403g and 429g - less than a bag of sugar.

After the birth Mr and Mrs Keates were told the first 72 hours were critical.

"It was nerve wracking as we didn't know what the outcome would be," said Mr Keates.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption The twins were given a low chance of survival when they were born.

After passing that first milestone the twins spent more than 100 days in intensive care.

"We prepared for the worst but as each day went by it got a bit easier," said Mr Keates.

Mrs Keates, who is a nurse, said the team at the hospital was "so supportive they were phenomenal really" and "answered all my questions in detail".

Image caption Both boys remain on oxygen 24 hours a day to help as their lungs develop.

The family have given thanks to the team at Southmead Hospital for saving the boys.

"They're happy and smiley and we just want to live as normal a family life as we can," said Mrs Keates.

"I want my story to give hope to others who find themselves in a similar situation," she added.

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