The mother of identical twin girls who each weighed just over 1lb when they were born has told of her joy at seeing her baby daughters tip the scales at a stone.
Ivy Good and her twin, Johanna, survived against the odds when they were born prematurely at 27 weeks.
Little Jo went through brain surgery when she was just 2lb and again when she weighed 4lb — but she has defied medical expectations to become a bouncy, happy toddler.
Their Cork mother, Linda Good, said she wants her little girls to give hope to other parents of premature babies in Ireland.
She said: “They’ve come such a long way from what they were. They are both hitting over the stone. Jo is over 16lb now and is starting to flip over by herself and Ivy is over 17lb and is starting to crawl. They are doing everything a normal baby should be doing. They have their own little personalities and are as cute as buttons.
“I have been going through all their clothes and I couldn’t believe when I saw the tiny baby stuff. When I saw the size of Ivy’s first suit, it was just over the size of my hand and it was huge on her.”
The 10-month old sisters are achieving new milestones every day at their home in Co Cork.
And their mother, who runs the Country Kitchen in Midleton, told how she reached her own milestone when she recently climbed to the top of Carrantuohill with friends and neighbours to raise funds for the medical professionals who helped her youngest daughters.
She said: “I just thought it was a major achievement not only getting up to the top but getting 75 others up there with me. There was great camaraderie — 150 of us did a walk, cycle and climb with volunteer guides and everyone else involved and everyone was on a high. We raised over €22,000 for the Jack and Jill Foundation, Enable Ireland and the neo-natal unit at Cork University Hospital.”
The mother of four, who also has daughters, Ruby, 6, and Gracie, 2, has been on an extraordinary journey with her tiny twin girls who were both in hospital for the first three months of their lives.
Doctors operated on Linda while she was pregnant as the girls had twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome — which means the blood vessels of the shared placenta aren’t evenly supplying each foetus — but a week later she went into premature labour at 27 weeks.
She said: “They were born on Jan 11; they were due Apr 12 — and Johanna was 1lb 10oz and Ivy was 1lb 11oz. We look back and think how did we get through this, but we just did it.
“On day three Jo had a haemorrhage in her lungs and it led to a bleed on the brain and the doctors called our family and the priest and they didn’t think she would survive that day let alone the next two or three days. She was blessed. They said not to leave her bedside. They weren’t giving her any (hope) but she did it. She is a strong little fighter.”
“Jack and Jill [Foundation] were so good to us. They got the majority of the money. They filled the gap between the hospital and once we got home. I’m up with Enable Ireland once every two weeks doing physiotherapy and occupational therapy with Jo and the ophthalmologist is up with her for her eyesight. She has to get the tiniest, tiniest pair of glasses.”
She is also donating a stunning painting of the twins, painted by artist Yvonne Condon, to the neo-natal unit.
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