Editor’s note. When we choose to repost a story that appeared a year ago today in NRL News Today, among the highest of the criteria is that it is as 100% as relevant today as it was when we first posted it. This certainly qualifies.
Twins Dylan and Deiniol Zimunya were born at just 25 weeks gestation. The boys weighed in at a mere 2 lbs and 1 lb 9 oz at birth. Their arrival came unexpectedly after their mother, Hannah, went into labor prematurely and gave birth two days later in the hospital. The boys were initially together in a neonatal intensive care unit in Bolton, England, but later Dylan was transferred to another facility 60 miles away near the family’s home in Wrexham.
The boys’ mother, who also has three other children with her husband Xavi, told the BBC, “We were expecting the boys to be born early with them being twins, but I don’t think anyone expects or can prepare themselves to go through that… The whole experience was terrifying.”
The terror continued. Without his big brother, Deiniol’s condition began to deteriorate, and 14 weeks after his birth, Deiniol’s doctors believed he would not survive. Deiniol still required 100% oxygen support and was not improving. Dylan was brought to Deiniol, to say goodbye to his twin.
When the boys were placed next to each other, Dylan cuddled his brother. The BBC reports, “The twins spent just five minutes together in the incubator having a cuddle, but hours later Deiniol’s condition had stabilized, and his oxygen support was reduced to 50%.”
Their mother says, “It was incredible. Somehow Dylan, by just being there, managed to help Deiniol — he made him better. I wasn’t expecting that at all, and neither were the nurses and doctors.”
When Dylan left, Deiniol’s condition again began to deteriorate. His oxygen level was increased, and once again his medical team feared for his life. The nurses suggested bringing his brother back, and the results were immediate. Hannah told the BBC, “Within two days Deiniol was taken off his ventilator completely. It really was a miracle… He saved his life with a cuddle. It was brilliant to watch, and it showed all of us that they should never have been separated.”
Current medical research is inconclusive about the benefits of treating premature twins together or separately. However, there are several personal stories like the Zimunyas’ that show how powerful and life-saving the connection of twins can be. The power of the bonds twins sometimes have at birth reveals the extent of development that takes place in the womb. In a culture poisoned by abortion, many people mistakenly believe that Life begins at birth. With these amazing stories of twins, we have further confirmation that their precious lives began in every way in the womb.
For Deiniol, his family believes his brother truly saved his life. The pair remained in the hospital for an additional two months, and after another three months in the hospital, Deiniol was finally able to come home. In October, the twins celebrated their first birthday. Their mother says, “I can’t explain how happy I am both boys have celebrated their first birthdays, because there was a time where we didn’t know if both of them would get the chance to.”
Deiniol still requires oxygen until his lungs mature, but the boys are otherwise happy and healthy at home with their older brother and two older sisters. In addition to the incredible stories of twins comforting each other at birth and demonstrating a clear bond outside the womb, ultrasounds show that twins in the womb deliberately communicate with each other, even long before birth at just 14- to 18-weeks’ gestation. Hopefully, stories like Dylan and Deiniol’s will prompt further research into the potentially life-saving bond that twins share, and how best to address the needs of babies in the womb and after birth