Twins flourishing seven years after ‘miracle’
TWINS Ruby and Bella Gibson love running around playing touch football, but mum Jo Gibson says it's a miracle her two daughters can enjoy healthy lives.
Mrs Gibson said the girls were diagnosed with stage 4 Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.
"It's where one twin can transfer the nutrients and blood flow from the other child (in the womb)," Mrs Gibson said.
"Bella took all the blood flow and nutrients, which left Ruby anaemic and not flourishing."
In a bid to raise awareness and help other families, the Port Curtis Touch Association, of which Mrs Gibson and her husband are committee members, recently raised money for the cause.
Each season, the association chooses an organisation to fundraise for, and in December raised funds for Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome Australia.
Mrs Gibson said she wasn't able to attend the meeting where the decision was made, and was shocked but grateful.
Almost $200 was raised from a sausage sizzle.
Club president Ben Bultreys said the association paid for the barbecue so all funds went to TTTS Australia.
"We asked players and family members who got sausages or hamburgers to donate for the charity," Mr Bultreys said.
Mrs Gibson said it wasn't all about the funds.
"It's more about how we created awareness for it that weekend," she said.
"We created a little bit, even if it was in our small community."
Mrs Gibson describes her family as fortunate after speaking with other families who have experienced the syndrome.
"We are one of the lucky ones where both children made it and flourished afterwards," she said.
"The doctors said that somehow we had a miracle … they can't explain it."
The syndrome is not widely known.
"I didn't even know it existed when I was pregnant," she said.
"It was only when the conversation arose we found out they had that syndrome."
Creating awareness is key, as early diagnosis can save lives.
Mrs Gibson said there were five stages of the syndrome and if detected earlier, there was greater chance of both twins surviving.
She said her family occasionally reflected on how far Ruby and Bella, now 7, had come and what could have happened.
"We're super grateful and it's still a shock every time we reflect back on it how they did survive and how they are just flourishing," she said.
"They are the most energetic, happy little kids."