The father of identical twins lost after surgery to treat Twin-To-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) is running the London Marathon to fund research into the condition.
Cookstown man Steven Hughes said his wife Rosanna, who went through two blood transfusions and was admitted to intensive care after their babies’ devastating deaths, is all the inspiration he needs to get through the 26 mile run.
The couple and their sons, aged one and five, said goodbye to twin boys after laser ablation surgery in Birmingham to try and cut interconnecting blood vessels between the babies and give them both a chance of survival. TTTS occurs in around 10 per cent of identical twins, when they share a placenta and blood vessels in utero. It can mean one twin draws a greater amount of blood-flow than the other, and without treatment both twins have a slim chance of survival or could be born with severe disabilities.
Steven and Rosanna found out their twins were in the second stage of TTTS around Christmas 2015, and as a result were referred to England for the surgery - which Steven said carried a 80% chance one would survive and 45% chance both would make it.
But instead of the outcome they had hoped for, both boys were tragically lost as one died following the surgery and the other when Rosanna went into premature labour. Their poorly mum also suffered an infection after the operation.
Telling their story, Steven said: “No amount of time can heal what happened but we just get through each day together as a family and try and grow stronger.
“If I ever needed any inspiration to do this marathon I just have to look at Rosanna, she is the most courageous and determined person I have ever met and I am so proud of everything she has done.
“We are almost 10 months on and although the mental scars will never leave, she is back training in the gym and doing the things she loves.
“Sunday 24th January 2016 (was) the day our beautiful twin boys were born, although they never made it the full way we were able to meet our two boys and spend some time with them and you wouldn’t believe how perfect and peaceful they looked.
We got to take them home with us later that week and they now lay in a special place at the foot of the Sperrin Mountains. I would just like to dedicate this run not only to my twin boys but to my wife Rosanna.
If you would like to help Steven raise money to fund research into TTTS for the charity TAMBA, just click http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Steven2401