ONE of the most premature sets of twins born in the country are coming on leaps and bounds.
Little fighters Archie and Harley Garthwaite, who were born 17 weeks early, continue to amaze their parents Hayley Kennedy and Billy Garthwaite with their progress.
Last week, Archie was deemed strong enough to come off oxygen after being allowed home in October.
The twins defied the odds when they were born in the 23rd week of their mum’s pregnancy with Archie weighing just 1lb 4oz and Harley 1lb 6oz – making them one of the most premature sets of twins in the country to survive.
The little battlers clung to life despite both having holes in their tiny hearts.
Archie underwent gruelling open heart surgery at just two weeks old, with Harley following two weeks later.
Mum Hayley, 20, of Grasmere Street, Hartlepool, said: “They are doing brilliant and are both putting weight on.
“It was great that Archie was allowed to come off his oxygen.
“It seems more normal to be able to pick him up and carry him about without worrying about carrying an oxygen tank around, it makes it a lot easier.”
Harley, who was allowed home in December after five-and-a-half months on the neo-natal ward at the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, is expected to remain on his oxygen supply for around three more months.
Archie now weighs 12lb and brother Harley is coming on well at 11lb 11oz.
Medics operated on both boys to correct bowel problems, performed laser treatment to stimulate their underdeveloped eyes and put them on ventilators and oxygen to help them to breathe.
The twins both have to go for monthly check ups at North Tees or the RVI, in Newcastle, but otherwise are just like any other babies.
Hairdresser Hayley and joiner Billy have been together just over a year after meeting on Facebook in November.
They previously told the Mail how bringing both twins home made their family feel “complete”.