UK’s most premature twin survives against the odds

A baby boy has defied the odds to be born as the country’s most premature twin, even though his mother was advised to abort him shortly before his birth.

Jacob McMahon was born one week below the 24 week abortion limit and weighed just 1lb 4oz.

Doctors advised baby Jacob’s mother, Sara Fisher, to abort him after his twin sister died a day short of 22 weeks.


Jacob joins a growing list of babies born before the 24 week legal upper limit for abortion, prompting renewed calls to lower the abortion limit.

Miss Fisher was told by doctors she had to make a quick decision whether to abort because she was suffering from a serious infection which may have been the cause of the tragic death of Jacob’s twin.

But she went into labour soon after and gave birth to Jacob at 23 weeks, making him the country’s most premature surviving twin.


It was 30 days before his mother was able to hold him and another 75 days before she could give her new born baby a bath.

But now five months later Jacob is going from strength to strength and able to return home with his mother Sara and father, Scott McMahon.

Although Jacob still has to be constantly attached to an oxygen supply to help his tiny lungs, his mother said: “He’s getting bigger and stronger day by day and is basically like any other newborn”.


“It’s an amazing feeling to have him home. To me he’s not a record breaker, to me he’s just my baby.”

She said: “We couldn’t believe it when doctors told us we had to consider abortion. They told us I had an infection and that he wouldn’t survive. They gave us 24 hours to decide whether we wanted to take a tablet that could stop his heart.

“We did not want to do that but luckily that decision was taken away from us when I went into labour at midnight.”


Consultant neonatologist Dr Sam Oddie at Bradford Royal Infirmary, who was caring for Jacob, said: “We have never had a baby survive at 23 weeks before.

“His twin sister was born so early there was no prospect of her being able to survive and we were extremely concerned whether Jacob could survive. We are delighted he has overcome the odds.”

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