‘Treasured’ twins are one

Lilly and Frankie Wallace with their mum Barbara Short
Lilly and Frankie Wallace with their mum Barbara Short

A GORGEOUS set of twins – who came into the world just months after the death of their twin siblings – have celebrated their first birthday.

Brother and sister act Frankie and Lilly Wallace turned one-year-old yesterday, much to the delight of their mum, Barbara Short, who still cannot believe she is lucky enough to have them.

Lilly and Frankie Wallace with their mum Barbara Short

Lilly and Frankie Wallace with their mum Barbara Short

Thirty-two-year-old Barbara’s world fell apart when her premature newborn twins, Ava and Alfie Wallace, died just hours after they were born at just 23 weeks into her pregnancy.

But unbelievably she fell pregnant again just nine weeks later, with another set of healthy treasured twins.

Today Barbara told the Mail that she felt so fortunate to have her beautiful babies, but said not a day goes by when she does not think about the treasured pair that she lost.

“I’m really lucky to have Frankie and Lilly because really I shouldn’t have been able to fall pregnant again as quickly as I did, and especially not with another set of twins,” she said.

“I always think of Ava and Alfie though, I know they are around me.

“A clairvoyant told me that a little girl called Ava is always around Lilly, so I know they are always here.”

Barbara, who has two older children - Molly-Jo Short, seven, and four-year-old James Wallace – is celebrating the twins’ birthday with a party for family and friends at home on Saturday.

The dedicated mum, from Owton Manor Lane, in Hartlepool, suffered a number of complications after finding out she was pregnant with the first set of twins in April 2012, the result of which saw her go into labour at just 23 weeks.

The 32-year-old was rushed to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, by ambulance where she gave birth to extremely premature unidentical twins Ava and Alfie Wallace on September 9, 2012.

Ava was born at 2.50am weighing just 450 grams, while Alfie came into the world 10 minutes later and weighed 480 grams.

The pair – who Barbara says could have fitted into the palm of her hand – were whisked off to the James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, where they were placed on ventilators and given drugs to try to keep them alive.

But the odds were too heavily stacked against them, and little Ava lost her fight for life eight hours after she was born.

Alfie fought on for another five-and-a-half hours before he died at 4.30pm the same day.

Barbara, a former delivery driver, said her second multiple pregnancy felt completely different and she suffered very few minor ailmentss before going into labour at a much safer 36 weeks.

Frankie came into the world weighing a healthy 5lb and Lilly, 4lb 13oz.