Miracle twin aims to beat the odds and walk on his own two feet

Archie (L) and Harley Garthwaite aged 2 are the smallest surviving twins in the UK - new line is that Archie has cerebral palsy and is having botox in his legs to help relax the muscles and help them grow. 'Mother Hayley Kennedy and father Billy Garthwaite
Archie (L) and Harley Garthwaite aged 2 are the smallest surviving twins in the UK - new line is that Archie has cerebral palsy and is having botox in his legs to help relax the muscles and help them grow. 'Mother Hayley Kennedy and father Billy Garthwaite

A MUM has been given news she thought she may never hear – that one of her baby miracle twins may have a chance of walking despite the odds.

Hayley Kennedy has been given hope that her beautiful son Archie Garthwaite may one day be able to walk, after doctors noticed significant improvements with his below-the-waist mobility.

Archie (R) and Harley Garthwaite aged 2 are the smallest surviving twins in the UK - new line is that Archie has cerebral palsy and is having botox in his legs to help relax the muscles and help them grow.  Mother Hayley Kennedy and father Billy Garthwaite

Archie (R) and Harley Garthwaite aged 2 are the smallest surviving twins in the UK - new line is that Archie has cerebral palsy and is having botox in his legs to help relax the muscles and help them grow. Mother Hayley Kennedy and father Billy Garthwaite

For the gorgeous tot was left with cerebral palsy after he and his brother Harley were born a staggering 17 weeks early, meaning he had little strength and movement in his legs.

But regular physiotherapy has seen him improve and he can now ‘army crawl’ across the floor to get what he wants.

He is also due to have his legs injected with botox – which is normally used by beauty-conscious people to correct wrinkles in the face.

Doctors predict that this will relax his tightened muscles and help in his bid to walk.

Hayley, 22, of Irvine Road, Hartlepool, says Archie is also due to be given a special walker to help him as well.

She said: “At first the doctors said he would never walk and it absolutely broke my heart for him, but now they’ve come up with the idea of botox and a walking frame because they’re really impressed at how much he’s come on.

“His physio says it’s ‘incredible’.

“It’s given us a renewed hope for him.”

The miraculous pair, now aged two, hit national headlines as being the most premature twins to survive in the country when they came into the world at just 23 weeks of their mum’s pregnancy, on June 13 and 14, 2012, weighing just 1lb 4oz and 1lb 6oz each.

The boys both had holes in their tiny hearts and at just two weeks old Archie had to undergo gruelling open heart surgery, with his brother Harley following two weeks later.

Medics also operated on them both to correct bowel problems, performed laser treatment to stimulate their underdeveloped eyes, and put them on ventilators and oxygen to help them to breathe.

Despite the odds being stacked against them though, the little fighters clung to life.

While Harley was left with hindered eyesight and lung disease – which leaves him susceptible to chest complaints – he is now otherwise fit and healthy and can walk and talk and gets up to usual toddler mischief.

Archie’s cerebral palsy means he has a tougher battle on his hands, as well as having the poor eyesight and lung disease.

He also cannot talk as well as his chatty brother Harley, who often speaks for Archie and tells his mum and dad, TMD Friction worker Billy Garthwaite, 23, what his sibling wants.

Hayley, who is Archie’s full-time carer, said: “There is a lot of brotherly love. Harley will get two of everything, one for him and one for Archie.

“It breaks my heart because I always wonder if Archie is thinking ‘why can’t I do what Harley is doing?’

“Archie doesn’t talk as much, he just makes noises, but Harley knows what Archie wants and he tells us so that we know.

“Now and again Harley will give Archie the odd push but Archie gets his own back and army crawls across the floor after him.

“And then Harley sometimes tries to pick Archie up and will say ‘howay Arch’ as though he wants Archie to follow him. Harley knows there’s something wrong with Archie, and he’ll kiss him and pat his back.”

She added: “They are both a credit to us. I do cry on a night, I wouldn’t wish what they’ve been through on anyone. I think ‘poor little souls’, it’s awful but they are getting there. I wouldn’t be without them.”