Britain’s smallest twins, whose COMBINED weight was the same as a bag of sugar, are home in time for Christmas

The sugar babes

by Jane McGuire |

The smallest twins born in Britain this year, who had a combined birth weight of a bag of sugar, have made a miraculous recovery and are home in time for Christmas.

Ava and Isla Bowen were born in July at 26 weeks, each weighing less than 2lbs. The twins were put on ventilators as they were too small to breath, and their parents Rochelle Bowen and Patrick Ward have described the past few months as a ‘rollercoaster’.

Yet much to their parents’ relief, both Ava and Isla are now home for their first Christmas. Mum Rochelle said – ‘It has been a long struggle for the two of them. At times we really didn’t think Isla would make it – but she did. I still can’t believe she’s here really. She’s amazing, she’s literally a miracle baby.’

Rochelle reports knowing things were wrong from her twelve weeks scan, where Isla’s development was behind her sisters. At 26 weeks, the couple were told Isla had stopped growing, and Rochelle was admitted to hospital for two-hourly monitoring, before having an emergency caesarean.

Rochelle and Patrick have praised the ‘unbelievable’ staff at Southmead Hospital for keeping their girls alive and well – Isla spent a total of 112 days in the NICU, with her twin sister Ava going home two weeks before her, after 99 days on the unit.

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A latin baby name meaning greatest. It's been popular for boys for years, but is now being used as a girl's name too.

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