3 July 2023

The lives of twin boys were saved thanks to laser surgery while they were still in the womb.

Mum Stephanie Metcalf underwent the specialist surgery when she was 17 weeks pregnant. Now she wants to give something back by taking part in the Walk for Twins Trust to raise money for research into complicated multiples' pregnancies.

Stephanie, husband Louis, daughter Georgia and twins Max and Sam are getting ready to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Virginia Water for the walk on 8 July.

A family including a daughter and two twins sit on the grass smiling at the camera

Stephanie, who lives in Fleet, Hampshire, shared her story: "At the 12-week scan we found out we were pregnant with MCDA twins, so they shared a placenta but had two amniotic sacs.

"Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome was mentioned but not really much about what it was. They said they were higher risk and we would have more frequent scans but we didn't really understand what it meant until our 16-week scan.

"It was then they had to call a consultant in as they realised twin two was still measuring at 12 weeks and hadn't grown. At that time twin two had very little fluid around it, while the other twin had lots of fluid. It was at that point they could see that TTTS had started.

"We were told it was likely we would have the laser ablation surgery and we were referred to St George's Hospital in Tooting, south west London.

"Because we were 16 weeks, we were told it was quite risky to do the surgery and they liked to wait until 17 weeks. We managed to hold on a week and had another scan and nothing had changed.

"We were told we would have the laser surgery. We were told that was to give twin one the best chance of survival and that without doing anything, both twins would probably die. Even with the surgery they weren't sure about twin two and chances of survival."

The surgery took place followed by a scan a week later.

Stephanie added: "It was amazing to see in one week that everything has started to go in the right direction. After that we had scans every two weeks."

Max and Sam were born at 33 weeks on 22 July 2022 following concerns about their growth. They were in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for three weeks before being discharged home.

Two twins facing the camera and laughing

Stephanie added: "Twins Trust was recommended to us by a family member during our pregnancy. We signed up quickly to see what was out there and to get the magazines. We've been going to a twin club too, which has been great for me, meeting other twin parents in a similar situation.

"We wanted to do the walk last year but I was still pregnant and then my waters broke so it wasn't the right time.

"Both our babies wouldn't be here without the medical intervention. It's great that more money can go into this for more research and why this happens.

"It will be really nice to do the walk as a family and take the time to appreciate how lucky we have been. It will be good to meet other families who have gone through something similar."

You can still sign up to Walk for Twins Trust.