Human Interest

Born at 24 weeks, miracle twins Ruby and Sapphire are beating the odds

A pair of twin girls are being called miracles after they defeated all the odds to not only survive, but thrive. Ruby and Sapphire Wirt were born at just 24 weeks gestation, weighing just one pound each, and were smaller than their mother’s hand. Today, they’re two years old and healthy, surpassing all expectations doctors set for them.

Andy and Caroline Wirt were parents to three children when they became pregnant with twins. From the start, it was a difficult pregnancy, with Wirt frequently bleeding heavily and having to be hospitalized. “Every time this happened I thought I was losing them,” she said. “I just wanted to lie there and protect them but I had to move and keep going for my other children.” But things were about to get harder: at 23 weeks, her water unexpectedly broke. She was taken to Royal Sussex County Hospital and placed on antibiotics while doctors monitored the twins — but she then came down with sepsis. “It could have killed all of us as it shuts down all of your vital organs,” she explained. “The babies had to come out.”

So Wirt underwent a cesarian section to deliver the girls. “Sapphire was born at 11:53 weighing 1lb 2oz and Ruby came along a minute later at 1lb 5oz,” she said. “They were trying to breathe so they were ventilated straight away and took them to the intensive care unit. They had to undergo numerous blood transfusions and were put in bubble wrap blankets to keep them warm.”

Right from the start, the prognosis for the girls seemed grim. And they were extremely fortunate that they were born at 24 weeks, and not a day earlier. “I had them hang on the day I turned 24 weeks pregnant, which meant the hospital staff were able to intervene and help them breathe. Any earlier and the chances were the doctors would not have been able to help them because that’s what the law says, and we would have lost them,” Wirt recalled. “But they were just the right side of the time limit and because they were breathing, they were able to step straight in and ventilate them. The doctors said it was very unlikely they would both survive. One of them might make it, but almost certainly not both of them. But they’ve overcome everything in their way which I’m sure is down to their unique bond. They’ve been together through everything and given each other the strength to survive.”

One week after being born, Sappire developed necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), where tissue in the intestines begins to die. She would need emergency surgery to repair the damage, and doctors warned that she likely would not survive the procedure… but without it, she would die. “I knew we had to do it so I kissed her goodbye and prayed she’d come back to us,” she said. Sapphire survived, but two days later, Ruby also was found to have NEC. The same warnings applied again, but amazingly, Ruby survived as well. The two girls continued to need emergency procedures, including surgery to repair a hole in Ruby’s heart, and laser eye surgery for Sapphire. But over five months after they were born, they were finally allowed to go home.

“It was surreal to get them to come home and be part of normal family life,” Wirt said. “They have to go back for the odd check-up with the consultants now and they can’t believe that they survived. For one of them to pull through everything is one thing but to have both of them standing here is a complete miracle. We’ve been through so much and it’s so wonderful to see them as happy healthy little girls.”

Wirt hopes their story will give other mothers in similar situations hope for their babies, too. “I want to give other mums hope because there were times when I needed someone to tell me there was hope and it would be alright,” she said.

Ruby and Sapphire were lucky for several reasons — first, that they were born at the right time, but second, because they had parents who wanted to fight for them. In the United Kingdom, babies that are Ruby and Sapphire’s age can be aborted, subjecting them to a violent and painful abortion procedure. This is most frequently a dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortion, which is explained by former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino here:

“The abortion limit here in England is 24 weeks, which, as you can read from my story, is far too high,” Wirt said. Babies like Ruby and Sapphire prove that these are living human beings, capable of surviving outside the womb, yet they are routinely condemned to death. And even if they aren’t aborted, just days separates Ruby and Sapphire from other children, who have medical care withheld and are left to die. This is despite the fact that viability continues to move earlier and earlier in pregnancy, and that babies even younger than Ruby and Sapphire have survived.

Science has proven that every preborn child is a living human being from the moment of conception, and they have the right to life, just like every other person alive today.

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