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Monday, 29 October 2012 (3032068)
West Lancashire couple hail twin miracle
by David Simister

A WEST Lancashire couple have spoken of their joy after the lives of their unborn twins were saved by a pioneering laser operation.

Amanda Wroe and husband Andrew, from Crawford, risked losing their twin boys after it was discovered they had a dangerous condition called twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, but after trailblazing surgery was carried out Amanda safely gave birth and both babies, Oliver and Finley, are now developing well.

Overjoyed father Andrew, 32, a sales executive and keen member of Ormskirk Rugby Club, said: “We still can’t believe it when we look at them. We are on Cloud Nine and it is great to have them home.

”We can’t fault the treatment we have had from the NHS at Liverpool Women’s and Ormskirk. We particularly want to thank Consultant Leanne Bricker. Without her expertise, our boys would not be here.“

The couple's twins were found to be in jeopardy when a scan of Amanda's womb 22 weeks into her pregnancy revealed that they suffered from twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, which meant they shared the same placenta, putting both at severe risk. Between 80% and 90% of babies with the condition do not survive the birth if the condition is not treated.

However, a life-saving laser procedure was performed at the hospital by Consultant in Fetal Medicine, Dr Leanne Bricker, who is one of only a handful of doctors in the country at a few specialist centres who can carry out the procedure known as intrauterine laser ablation of placental vessels.

Dr Bricker said: In laser ablation, a camera is inserted into the womb and a laser beam is used to seal off some of the blood vessels in the placenta so that both babies receive a more equal supply of blood.

”After the laser surgery, the excess amniotic fluid is removed so that both babies have an equal volume - this is called amnioreduction.“

The surgery meant a double miracle for the couple, with both twins surviving the birth despite the initial risk.

Mum Amanda, 33, a lecturer at Hugh Baird College in Bootle, said: ”After the procedure, I stayed in Liverpool Women's Hospital for four days and we were told the first seven to ten days were critical to see if it had worked. When we had a scan seven days later Leanne said it seemed to have been successful and that the heartbeats were good but she would need to scan us every week and monitor us very closely.

“She didn't want us to be over confident and we went with our fingers crossed every time but each day and week that went by we got more positive as Leanne said things were looking good. I began to feel more confident when I felt the babies moving.

”They both cried as soon as they were born - it was a wonderful sound! It was a terrible shock when Leanne broke the news that we had twin to twin syndrome. We can never thank her enough for what she has done for our babies.“


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