3 July 2023

Zoe Gent underwent lifesaving surgery on her twins after being told they had a 25% chance of survival due to Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS).

She's signed up for the Walk for Twins Trust to help raise money for research and support families impacted by complicated pregnancies with conditions like TTTS and TAPS.

Zoe will be joined by husband Michael, daughter Penny, eight, and twins Callum and Joshua, six, for the walk on 8 July.

Two children stood in a wooded area looking at the camera

Zoe said: "I found out I was pregnant and had my first scan at 13 weeks so I didn't know until then that it was twins. I was in shock. My daughter was so little and I thought how am I going to have three children?"

When she was 19 weeks pregnant, Zoe said she started to feel unwell and she was unable to stand up and had bad pains in her stomach.

At her 20-week scan, Zoe said sonographers scanned the same baby twice and said both babies were measuring the same. Another sonographer was then unable to find the second baby.

Zoe added: "They went into panic mode because they couldn't find the second baby. They thought because I was in so much pain I might go into labour. I had to have steroid injections incase the babies arrived.

"I had to stay at hospital overnight for more scans. The second twin was tucked underneath and he had hardly any fluid around him.The other twin had lots of fluid around him."

Zoe was referred to the Fetal Medicine Research Institute at Kings College Hospital in London and underwent specialist laser ablation surgery.

"The surgery was amazing. On the screen we could see their faces, it was really clever. They said there was a 75% chance they wouldn't survive. We did the surgery for them.

"They drained five litres of fluid. As soon as that had gone, I felt a lot better. I could move again as it was making my back hurt," she said.

Luckily the surgery was a success and Callum and Joshua were born at 25 weeks on 26 August 2016. Zoe praised the care they received at Luton and Dunstable Hospital.

Twin babies lie on a mat

Zoe said it was important for her to take part in the walk to support research into conditions in multiples' pregnancies and to raise awareness of the conditions.

The family will complete a virtual route near their home in Flitwick, Bedfordshire.

She added: "I hadn't known anyone who it had happened to before but since I had them I heard of two other people who have had TTTS. I wanted to help raise money for future research."

There's still time to sign up for the Walk for Twins Trust