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Parents have spoken of their relief as their premature twins - who were born with coronavirus - have been allowed home.
Sarah Curtis, 32, was diagnosed with COVID-19 just days before she gave birth.
Although she was asymptomatic, Curtis felt “scared” and “annoyed” at the prospect of putting her children at risk, a fear exacerbated by doctors not knowing whether or not her unborn twins could pick up the virus in the womb.
She went into labour 10 weeks early on 3 July, but because of the coronavirus hospital restrictions, her husband Aaron, 33, was unable to be there.
Twins, Kenna and Lissa, were born weighing just 3 lb each. Shortly after birth it was confirmed that they were both suffering from COVID-19, which was passed to them through the placenta.
Read more: Mum shocked as twins born two days apart
Aaron was finally able to see his babies and wife on 11 July, after a difficult eight days apart.
Six weeks later, the family were able to leave the hospital and carry on caring for their children at home, after they were deemed fit and well.
“I was more scared of having COVID than my water breaking – I was so nervous,” Curtis explained.
“When I got the confirmation that I had coronavirus I was just so angry with myself.
“I didn’t know what it meant exactly, it was so nerve wracking.
“I’ve lost a daughter and I was fearing the worst.”
Curtis’s pregnancy wasn’t straightforward, as she was diagnosed with twin-to-twin syndrome, a prenatal condition in which twins share unequal amounts of the placenta's blood supply resulting in the two foetuses growing at different rates.
“I had a really hard pregnancy – I had twin to twin syndrome,” Curtis said.
“I had to have a laser surgery where we were told they were trying to save one of the babies - we weren’t meant to have both.
“Adam was only allowed to come see me at the very end due to coronavirus.
“It was a miracle that both twins survived.
“The last week in hospital felt like a prison sentence.
“But thankfully the staff were just brilliant. They made us feel comfortable despite all of the anxiety.
“In the end it was all worth it. It’s been a surreal year but we’ve come away with two beautiful, healthy girls.”
Her husband admitted that knowing his wife was going through everything on her own was difficult, particularly because he didn’t know what was happening from one day to the next.
The twins were studied throughout their stay at West Cumberland Hospital as doctors attempted to learn more about COVID-19 in babies.
When they were born, their heads were the size of digestive biscuits, but they grew in strength during their time in the hospital.
Curtis praised the doctors at the hospital for previously helping her family when their daughter, Lottie, died from sudden infant death syndrome (also known as cot death) in 2017.
"The staff on the delivery suite at the West Cumberland were fantastic they helped me. I was so scared to bring [the twins] home after losing Lottie,” she said.
“It's still scary as they are not past that age where you stop worrying, but [the staff] helped me and showed me that there is happiness after.
“The staff were incredible from start to finish, and made us feel so comfortable despite all of the anxiety surrounding the pregnancy.
“I know people will clap for carers during lockdown but they’re brilliant all year round, always.
“We wouldn’t be holding our two beautiful and healthy twins if it weren’t for their wonderful and determined work.”
Additional reporting by SWNS.