NRL News

“Little fighters,” premature twins born at 24 weeks, home and thriving

by | Sep 28, 2018

By Dave Andrusko

Luci Hall gave birth to Charlie and Harvey Barker at just 24 weeks
(Image: Mercury Press & Media)

I’ve often wondered what lies behind the appearance of so many stories in British newspapers about premature babies. I get that people—starting with me—are encouraged and lifted up when a little one beats the odds. If makes an even greater impact if you have kids of your own.

Rather it’s the connection that is almost always made to the 24 week limit on abortions in Great Britain. Do they sense that there is something profoundly wrong (even if they are “pro-choice”) about late-stage abortions?

Which brings us to the latest story that appeared in The Mirror. Here is Bradley Jolly’s two sentence lead:

Premature twin boys who were born before the abortion limit and each weighing around 1lb have defied doctors by surviving against all odds.

Charlie and Harvey Barker were born at just 24 weeks – weighing just 1lb 6oz and 1lb 4oz respectively.

What makes this particular story even more fascinating is that this experience prompted the “mum,” Luci Hall, to question the UK abortion limit.

“Seeing how well they’ve done does make you think about the abortion limit. I’d never even considered it before, I just accepted it.

“The thought of anyone getting rid of a baby that late is just awful. When I came home I signed a petition to have it changed.

“Harvey and Charlie are proof that a baby born at 24 weeks can survive,” she said.

The twins’ story begins their delivery in May 2017 after months of trauma. Their prospects were grim.

“Their chances of survival were so slim that we were told to take it hour by hour,” Luci told Bradley Jolly. “They told us not to think about the future because it was so uncertain.

“We were so scared thinking about losing one of them or both of them, it was devastating. It’s not a situation you ever expect yourself to be in when you have your first baby.

“When we finally got to hold them after four weeks it was amazing. It gave us both so much hope because we knew then that they were getting stronger. That really kept us positive.

“They are both little fighters, they proved everyone wrong. And we got to take them home on September 24.

Luci described her pregnancy as a “nightmare.” Harvey and Charlie had “twin-to-twin transfusion” – a rare condition in which the blood vessels of the twins’ shared placenta are connected, resulting in one twin receiving too much blood and the other not receiving enough. In this case Charlie was getting more sustenance than his brother. It mean ultrasounds every week through her pregnancy.

But all that is behind the family. “Charlie, who weighs 20lbs, and Harvey, who weighs 20lbs 8oz, now both wear 9-12 months clothes,” Jolly writes. And “since coming home from hospital, the babies have become stronger and healthier.”

Categories: Premature babies