In February 2014, at week 20 of their pregnancy with identical twin boys, Craig and his wife Kyrie, were diagnosed with twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), something which occurs in just 10% of multiple pregnancies. An article of Craig and Kyrie’s story was featured in the UK’s Daily Mail:
TTTS affects only identical or monozygotic twins who develop from the splitting of a single egg during the first 14 days after fertilisation, and who also share a placenta – monochorionic twins. The placenta has a web of blood vessel connecting the twins with the mother and usually they allow an even flow of blood and nutrients to each of the embryos. However, in a TTTS pregnancy, the flow of blood in these vessels between the twins is out of balance resulting in one twin getting too much blood; this can put a strain on the heart and lead to heart failure. Whilst the other receives too little which can affect their growth and survival.
As a result, the pair had to undergo emergency laser surgery – if they did nothing there was a 90% chance they would lose their boys. This technique developed by foetal specialists at St George’s involves a laser burning and closing the blood vessels on the placenta. With that said, by even going through the laser treatment there was still a one in three chance that both twins would survive; a one in three chance that only one would make it; and a one in three chance they could lose both.
Craig appreciates he and his family are one of the lucky ones. However, there’s families out there experiencing the roller-coaster ride of TTTS, sometimes with very tragic consequences. Craig has dedicated the past year of his life to help raise money for the consultants at St. George’s and the families who have been, or will be diagnosed with TTTS.