MUM Talia Keates cradles her "little miracles" – the smallest twins in the world.

Ashley and Joe each weighed less than 1 lb at 23 weeks.

    Talia Keates, mom of the world's smallest twins, says her babies are "one in a million"

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Talia Keates, mom of the world's smallest twins, says her babies are "one in a million"Credit: The Sun
    The boys were born just 23 weeks old and weighed less than one pound each

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The boys were born just 23 weeks old and weighed less than one pound each

The British mother says boys are her "one in a million" after challenging incredible chances to survive.

The doctors gave his son Joe 15.1 oz a chance to live.

But he and his brother Ashley – 14.2 oz at birth – are now healthy at seven months.

Born just 23 weeks old, they are the youngest twins to have survived in the UK.

Each weighed less than a 500 ml bottle of water and was only slightly larger than Talia's hand.

Only the American sisters Rumaisa and Hiba Rahman, born in 2004, were smaller.

Talia, a 32-year-old nurse with six children from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, said, "Ashley and Joe are my little bouncing miracles.

"I feel extremely lucky and very grateful. I guess they're one in a million.

"It's really amazing to think I could have the smallest twins in the world."

Doctors feared for Joe when his separate amniotic sac broke prematurely. After the birth, the twins spent 129 days in intensive care.

& # 39; TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE & # 39;

Talia added, "The doctors had given Joe only one in a hundred chance after what he had gone through.

"And the consultant said that it was extremely rare for both twins to survive with such a low birth weight.

"Studies have also shown that premature boys are less likely to succeed as well as girls. This proves how incredible they are.

"With all these terrible predictions, we simply had to focus on every day spent at the hospital and every important step."

    Ashley and Joe spent 129 days in intensive care after birth.

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Ashley and Joe spent 129 days in intensive care after birth.Credit: The Sun
    The twins challenged all odds of survival, with Joe having only one percent chances of living with doctors

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The twins challenged all odds of survival, with Joe having only one percent chances of living with doctorsCredit: The Sun
    Talia and her husband were warned that premature boys were less likely to succeed as well as girls

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Talia and her husband were warned that premature boys were less likely to succeed as well as girlsCredit: The Sun
    She says

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She says "it shows how incredible they are"Credit: The Sun
    The boys were born on April 16 and were allowed to return home in August

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The boys were born on April 16 and were allowed to return home in AugustCredit: The Sun

Mari Oliver, 35, added, "It has been a very traumatic experience, but we really appreciate it.

"It certainly brought us closer as a family.

"We have been so blessed, it is our little miracle babies who complete our family."

It's really amazing to think that I could have the smallest twins in the world.

Talia Keates

The boys were born on April 16 – Ashley at 14.2oz (403g) and Joe at 15.1oz (429g).

They were allowed to return home in August and are doing well. Ashley is big enough for newborn clothes and Joe is 0 to 3 months old.

Talia and the mechanic Oliver only found out that their twins were the youngest after discovering Rylea and Robyn Comer. Rylea weighed 15 oz and Robyn 1 lb 4 oz.

Keith Reed of Twins Trust confirmed, "Ashley and Joe are the little ones we've heard about in the UK. It's good news to hear that they are doing so well.

"This is thanks to the brilliant hospital staff members who have cared for tiny babies so well. This just shows why specialized care is so important.

BABY SURPRISE

Talia and Oliver were delighted to learn that they were expecting a surprise for their baby. They then discovered that it was twins.

But at 17 weeks, there were signs of problems during pregnancy.

Three weeks later, the waters of Talia broke up and the boys were born after 23 weeks. They were so premature that their eyes were welded together.

Talia added, "When we had problems before birth, we were told to consider a termination of employment. Then Joe's waters erupted early and they told me that he could not survive and die at birth.

"I got to work and I naturally had Joe, then Ashley by caesarean section.

"They were close, so there was a risk. They are twins but they had separate bags. "

Staff at Southmead Hospital in Bristol was supported by the Royal United Hospital in Bath, Somerset.

    At 17 weeks, there were signs of problems during pregnancy and three weeks later Talia's waters broke

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At 17 weeks, there were signs of problems during pregnancy and three weeks later Talia's waters brokeCredit: The Sun
    Ashley and Joe are seven months old and are doing well, although dad Oliver says their birth was a very traumatic experience for the family.

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Ashley and Joe are seven months old and are doing well, although dad Oliver says their birth was a very traumatic experience for the family.Credit: The Sun
    Ashley (left) is now big enough for newborn clothes and Joe is 0-3 months old

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Ashley (left) is now big enough for newborn clothes and Joe is 0-3 months oldCredit: The Sun
    The couple said they were delighted to have learned that they were expecting a baby and was even more shocked to learn that they were twins.

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The couple said they were delighted to have learned that they were expecting a baby and was even more shocked to learn that they were twins.Credit: The Sun

The boys were taken to critical care centers where they stayed for a few months.

Talia could not touch her newborns at first. She added, "At the neonatal unit, they say that there is a honeymoon period for about a week without infection.

"But after that, infections started to happen. It was horrible, you never know if they will survive.

"We spent 129 days in the unit and, when they were stable enough, we were moved to a hospital closer to home. Boys are always on oxygen, but that's about it.

"Ashley has been diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. All of this is linked to his chronic lung disease.

"I do not know much about it, they both have chronic lung disease because they're born so premature.

"As they grow up, they will recover because their lungs will grow.

"When they were born, they were a little longer than my hand but much thinner.

"But I could not touch them at first. They said that if you touch them, it really pains them because their skin is very thin.

"I had to wait five weeks for a hug. They were not much bigger than that.

"I am very grateful to the Bristol Southmead Hospital, they have been great, as well as at the Royal United Hospital in Bath."

The boys' consultant, Dr. Paul Mannix, said: "The chances are slim against so tiny babies, let alone when they are twins.

"But Joe and Ashley were real fighters and we were on the moon, we could help them make such a miraculous journey to complete health."

Chances are superimposed against tiny babies, let alone when they are twins.

Dr. Paul Mannix

Talia, also mother of Imogen, eight, Jacob, seven, Theo, five, and Sebastian, three, added, "The trip was long, dramatic, and emotional.

"The road is still long, we have regular checks and milestones, boys are just starting to smile and laugh.

A hospital at its best

By Camilla Kingdon, Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health

Twins born at 23 weeks old with such a low weight are an extraordinary event. I'm not aware of what's going on before.

The fact that they have survived and have now returned home is a testament to their family and the Southmead Hospital team.

Modern perinatal and neonatal care continues to grow. It is based on teamwork between obstetricians, neonatologists, midwives, nurses and many others.

We now regularly see babies born at 23 weeks, who are surviving and doing well.

Twin pregnancies are more complicated, which makes this story very special.

It is also a reflection of the best of the NHS – and the hard work and commitment of dozens of dedicated employees.

"Joe weighs 11 lbs and Ashley a little under 8 lbs but we try to strengthen it a bit.

"They still consume oxygen, which comes in portable packages, but we had to find a way to deal with the school run, for example.

"But as the days go by, I can breathe a little easier. They are all worth it. I love everything. "

    Talia said it was hard not to touch her babies, but after five weeks she was able to cuddle them.

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Talia said it was hard not to touch her babies, but after five weeks she was able to cuddle them.Credit: The Sun
    The miracle twins are still under oxygen, but they are good enough to join their four siblings on trips to the park.

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The miracle twins are still under oxygen, but they are good enough to join their four siblings on trips to the park.


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