Miracle twin girls survive laser surgery - while still inside mum's womb

By Jonathan Coles

Miracle twin girls have defied the odds to start their first day of school after surviving laser surgery while still in their mother's womb.

Five-year-old sisters Madelyn and Emilia Jones were given a tiny chance of survival while mum Liz was pregnant.

The twins suffered a rare condition threatening to starve them of oxygen because they shared the same placenta.

Doctors battled to save the girls by performing pioneering laser surgery before they were born in Mold, North Wales.

And the pair have now started attending their local Bryn Coch School together, with their mum saying: "Wherever one goes, the other follows."

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The miracle twin girls have defied the odds (Liz Ledsham-Jones/WALES NEWS SERVICE)

Liz, 46, said: "They are our miracle babies and we are so proud of them both.

"They had fought so hard before they were born and there were so many days that followed when we thought they weren't going to make it. But they have."

Liz and husband Craig, 49, were told that their daughters may never walk, speak or even eat due to the condition called Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.

It is a rare pregnancy condition where babies share one placenta and a network of blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients essential for development in the womb.

The twins needed to be resuscitated and put in intensive care - and things didn't look good initially (Liz Ledsham-Jones/WALES NEWS SERVICE)

Doctors carried out the operation in the womb with a laser probe to drain off fluid and seal blood cells when Liz was just 25 weeks pregnant.

Liz, who is also mum to Cari and Matthew, said: "It was incredible and emotional when the doctor did the operation.

"I only had a local anaesthetic. Madelyn was poking her tongue out and we could see her little eyelashes and nails."

The operation was a success but just days later Liz's waters broke and the babies were born weighing little more than a bag of sugar.

They needed to be resuscitated and put in intensive care and things didn't look good.

But despite everything the girls pulled through and after 136 days Madelyn came home - with Emelia joining her at 169 days.

The inseparable twins now love nothing more than bouncing up and down on the trampoline and going to the seaside.

Liz said: "They are so close. Wherever one goes, the other follows, it's wonderful to see them together and to see that they are so close to each other.

The twins with older sister, Cari (Liz Ledsham-Jones/WALES NEWS SERVICE)

"I feel grateful that they are here every day - it is incredible. They have different personalities and it's wonderful to watch them grow.

"I am so proud of them both and all they have achieved already in their short lives

"It's true what they say from little acorns, mighty oaks grow."

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