UK’s youngest premature twins celebrate 1st birthdays

Twins born more than a week before the abortion limit, and given “zero chance of survival”, have turned one.

While medics often state that babies cannot survive outside the womb before 24 weeks, Harley and Harry Crane arrived five months early in October last year weighing just 1lb 10oz and 1lb 15oz respectively.

Mum Jade was just 22 weeks pregnant when she went into labour – so unusually early that the doctors at Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC), Nottingham repeatedly referred to the delivery as a miscarriage.


The family were invited to appear on BBC Breakfast to mark the milestone, and the children, born at just 22 weeks and 5 days, were presented with a card and cake.

When asked how they would celebrate the day, the twins’ dad Steve said while a party was planned, “every day is a celebration, but today’s going to be a special one”.

Harley and Harry are the UK’s most premature surviving twins.


Harley and Harry spent almost five months in QMC’s newborn intensive care unit before being discharged in March.

Ahead of the birthday celebrations, Jade told the Mirror of the family’s intention to deliver 22 care packages to mothers and babies on the unit containing hand-knitted items and cards telling the twins’ story.

She said: “We hope Harley and Harry’s story will give people hope, as there wasn’t a lot when I was looking for other people with babies of this kind of gestation period.”

‘Not procedure’

In an interview earlier this year, when the twins had just passed their original due date, Jade recalled her confusion during the delivery: “We were told there was zero chance of survival. I got distressed when they kept calling it a miscarriage.

“How could it be a miscarriage when I could feel the babies? They were alive, but I was shocked to discover that they weren’t going to be monitored during the birth.”

The parents were told it was not procedure to monitor such young babies, or to give pain relief to the mother. Jade also asked about giving the babies steroids to give them a better chance of survival but was told that wasn’t procedure either.

Shortly after the birth, the tiny twins were taken to the hospital’s ‘Serenity Suite’, where again they were expected to die, but their health gradually improved and now celebrate their first birthday.

Also see:

Premature baby

Record breaking premature baby celebrates 1st birthday

‘Never give up’ says mum as baby born at 22 weeks goes home

Parents joy at ‘little warrior’ born weighing less than a pound

Baby born at 23 weeks can go home next month

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