A set of twins in England miraculously survived a surgery doctors performed on them while still in the womb.
After their first ultrasound, doctors didn't believe twins Jake and Oli Whettingsteel would live, the Daily Mail reports. The ultrasound showed that at 12 weeks, one of the boys was surviving only on a single blood vessel.
The boys' parents, 34-year-old Ben and 33-year-old Jane, thought for a moment that they were out of options. Doctors, however, decided to perform an operation to separate the boys' blood vessels when they were 17 weeks along.
"The sonographer asked how it was going, then her tone became worried -- she'd spotted something," Jane told the Daily Mail.
The surgery was risky, with just a 50 percent chance of success given that they were still in the womb.
"I tried so hard to be really calm throughout my pregnancy as I didn't want any additional stress to harm the babies," Jane said. "I decided I was going to be positive and say that I knew I could do this. I was determined to do everything in my power to keep these babies safe."
Doctors completed the 45-minute surgery by inserting a small camera into the mother's uterus and using lasers to separate the blood vessels. That's when doctors discovered that only one small vessel was feeding Oli.
If it were any smaller, they said, both babies would have died.
"That was the scariest moment, when I realized we were really close to losing them," she said. "I couldn't get over how miraculous that surgery was. It was so intricate and they could do it without damaging anything. I have been left with just a tiny mark on my stomach."
The surgery proved successful, with both boys growing to the same size. Just before 28 weeks, however, Jane started bleeding. Doctors gave her steroids and magnesium to help the babies grow in case she prematurely went into labor.
"[The doctors] basically said, 'Prepare yourself, we might need to take them out now,'" she said. "Fortunately, they said they didn't think the bleeding was coming from the boys, but they told me I would need to stay in [the] hospital until they were born."
While in the hospital, Jane began experiencing what doctor's thought to be false contractions. It turned out she was in labor, however, and the boys were delivered soon after via C-section.
"They both cried immediately, which was really reassuring," Jane said.
The boys spent seven weeks in the hospital because of their premature birth. They grew stronger each day, but it was ultimately revealed that Jake had a blood clot in his brain.
"They do think he is going to have cerebral palsy on the left hand side," Jane said. "We have to wait and see what the impact of that will be but, at the minute, they are both doing really well."
In a similar incident, British parents gave birth to twins at 25 weeks at a hospital in Perth, Australia -- a two-hour flight from where they lived in Western Australia, the Daily Mirror reports.
The father, Steven Lockwood, had to watch via FaceTime as his wife gave birth to their sons. The mother, Nicola Biggs, was flown to the hospital in Perth for the birth and remained there as the boys spent time in intensive care.