The story of a set of twins born 87 days apart may now be heading for the record books.
Today, Amy and Katie are adorable and healthy babies living in Waterford, Ireland, with mother Maria Jones-Elliot, father Chris Elliot and siblings Olivia and Jack, according to the Daily Mirror.
But there was a period when Jones-Elliot said she wasn’t sure of either of her twin daughters would make it.
“The doctors told me there was very little hope of them surviving as they were so premature,” she told the Mirror, explaining that her water broke a mere 23 weeks into her pregnancy.
Dr. Eddie O’Donnell works at Waterford Regional Hospital, where the twins were born, and helped on their delivery team.
“Most people haven’t heard of this,” O’Donnell told the Belfast Telegraph. “You can end up losing a twin, it could be stillborn,” he said.
Despite the odds, Amy was born on June 1, 2012. Four months premature, she weighed a little more than one pound.
“Amy was fighting for her life in an incubator and Katie was struggling to survive in my womb,” Jones-Elliott told the Mirror. “After hours, Chris and I said, ‘Enough is enough. Let nature take its course.’ It was the hardest three months of our lives.”
Doctors induced Jones-Elliot a second time on Aug. 27, during her 36th week of pregnancy, the Mirror reports. After about an hour, Katie emerged.
“For a baby delivered at 23 weeks to survive, is a huge achievement from everyone’s point of view,” Dr. Sam Coulter Smith, chief of Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital and an expert in obstetrics and gynecology, told the Irish Times. “For a 23-week twin to survive is even bigger because twins often behave more prematurely than singleton babies. That really is right at the absolute border of viability.”
Smith added that the doctors who worked with the family should be commended for their critical thinking in an unfamiliar situation.
In an email to The Huffington Post, Guinness World Records spokesman Damian Field wrote that he could “confirm that Maria Jones-Elliott and her husband Chris Elliot have been in contact with Guinness World Records. If their claim of 87 days between the birth of their twins is substantiated then they will break the Guinness World Record title for Longest interval between birth of twins. We currently await their evidence.”
The current record holder is Peggy Lynn of Huntingdon, Penn., according to Field. Lynn gave birth to daughter Hanna and son Eric 84 days apart between 1995 and 1996.