The parents of premature twins thought to be the first in the UK born with Covid-19 have spoken of their joy after they were declared fit and healthy and allowed home.
Sarah Curtis, 32, and husband Aaron, 33, were horrified when tests came back and revealed Sarah was positive for Covid-19 just days before she gave birth.
She was asymptomatic but felt “scared” and “annoyed” with herself as she feared she was putting the unborn twins at risk.
Doctors were unsure if mothers could pass on the virus to their babies, or what its effects would be, which left them worried.
Sarah went into labour ten weeks early on July 3 but her husband Aaron couldn’t stay with her due to Covid restrictions, and welcomed 3lbs Kenna and Lissa into the world.
Doctors confirmed they were born with the killer virus, which was transferred to them via the placenta.
Dad Aaron, a security guard, was finally able to see his wife and twins on July 11 for the first time in an emotionally charged scene.
Six weeks later, the twins have now been declared fit and healthy, Covid-free and are now being cared for at home.
Sarah, from Distington, Cumbria, said: “I was more scared of having Covid than my water breaking – I was so nervous.
“When I got the confirmation that I had coronavirus I was just so angry with myself.
“I didn’t know what it meant exactly, it was so nerve wracking.
“I’ve lost a daughter and I was fearing the worst.
“No one knew what would happen, my girls were the first babies to be born with coronavirus.”
Sarah, stay-at-home-mum, says she had a “hard pregnancy” as she suffered from twin to twin syndrome.
Twin to twin syndrome is a prenatal condition in which twins share unequal amounts of the placenta’s blood supply resulting in the two foetuses growing at different rates.
She had to travel 300 miles from West Cumberland Hospital down to London, on her own, to get a laser surgery which would correct the issue.
But was told it was likely she would lose one of the twins.
The mum-of-five said: “I had a really hard pregnancy – I had twin to twin syndrome.
“I had to have a laser surgery where we were told they were trying to save one of the babies – we weren’t meant to have both.
“Adam was only allowed to come see me at the very end due to coronavirus.
“It was a miracle that both twins survived.
“The last week in hospital felt like a prison sentence.
“But thankfully the staff were just brilliant. They made us feel comfortable despite all of the anxiety.
“In the end it was all worth it. It’s been a surreal year but we’ve come away with two beautiful, healthy girls.”
Dad Aaron missed the birth of his twins and was only able to see them on July 11, after they’d been transferred to Sunderland for further testing.
Aaron: “It was so hard because she had to do it all herself. I was just waiting.
“I didn’t know what was happening at all.
“I wanted to be there for all three of them.
“But when I saw them finally I was so proud. That feeling when you’re a dad it’s unparalleled.”
The twins were only 3lbs and their heads were the size of a “digestive biscuit” and were studied throughout their time in hospital as doctors continue to learn about the coronavirus.
The family say the staff at the West Cumberland Hospital helped them after they struggled with losing baby daughter Lottie to cot death in 2017.
Sarah said: “The staff on the delivery suite at the West Cumberland were fantastic they helped me. I was so scared to bring them home after losing Lottie.
“It’s still scary as they are not past that age where you stop worrying, but the they helped me and showed me that there is happiness after.
“The staff were incredible from start to finish, and made us feel so comfortable despite all of the anxiety surrounding the pregnancy.
“I know people will clap for carers during lockdown but they’re brilliant all year round, always.
“We wouldn’t be holding our two beautiful and healthy twins if it weren’t for their wonderful and determined work.”