- A mother received the most terrible of news while pregnant
- Her identical boys had developed twin transfusion syndrome
- One of them died, and the story of how everything evolved is tragic
A mother has opened up about her traumatic ordeal after learning one of her twins had died in the womb. At 18 weeks into the pregnancy, Emma Dutton and partner Mark Prince learned that their children were suffering from a rare disease called twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS).
This condition affects identical twins, in a process where one of the fetuses receives much less blood than the other.
Two weeks later, baby Elijah had died in his mother’s womb. “To have that news and then be told one of them had died was just absolutely devastating. After that, I was convinced I'd lose the other one too,” Dutton said.
Yet the other baby, Oliver, survived, thanks to her persevering mom, who carried Elijah inside her for 15 more weeks. Oliver was born a healthy child.
Dutton and Prince were so traumatized by the whole experience, that they decided to start raising money online in order to help support the TTTS Registry. This entity collects information about the disease, in order to prevent it in the future.
The charity Twins and Multiple Births Association (TAMBA) is leading the effort forth. Dutton hopes that one day “no other parents have to lose their babies, and no other brothers or sisters have to grow up without their twin”.
With TTTS, abnormal blood vessels interrupt the blood flow from one baby to the other. One baby to not receive enough, and the other too much. “Only eight per cent of ID pregnancies get this, with a 95 per cent chance they will die without laser ablation surgery” Dutton explained.
Even though her babies did undergo surgery, and survived, a follow up scan two weeks later showed “my little boy lay on the screen not moving, no little wriggles, no little bubbles, and no heartbeat. That image will never leave my memory,” Dutton recalls with great sorrow.
Not all twins who develop TTTS end up with the same sad story. Check out this hopeful story: