New Delhi: Triplets from Bristol in the UK have entered the prestigious Guinness World Record for being the lightest and most premature triplets to survive.

The sisters – Rubi Rose, Payton-Jane, and Porscha-Mae Hopkins weighed just 1,250 gms at birth at 22 weeks (about 5 months) in February 2021. After spending 216 days in the neonatal intensive care unit in the city hospital, the triplets were sent home where their health is significantly improving.

According to the parents, the triplets are now healthy, and happy.

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"Since they've come out of THE hospital, they've just sprung, and their health is improving", Michaela White, the triplets’ mother told the BBC.

Hospital horror

Michaela said the Hopkins girls were born by cesarean section just three weeks after she found out she was pregnant with triplets. For her, it was a traumatic experience as Michaela could not see her newborn at birth as they were placed in incubators and swaddled in polythene wrapping to act like a womb, reducing heat loss and risk of hypothermia.

The sisters are dizygotic triplets, meaning Rubi-Rose has a unique genetic makeup whilst Payton-Jane and Porscha-Mae are identical twins.

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“The whole journey between finding out that they were triplets and then actually being here was I think the quickest pregnancy I’ve ever known,” the triplets’ father, Jason Hopkins told the Guinness Book officials.

The first 72 hours of the babies' lives were the most critical and they each had to breathe independently for 10 seconds before doctors could intervene to provide them with oxygen.

Michaela said Rubi-Rose was the first-born weighing just 467gms. Thereafter, Payton-Jane and Porscha-Mae were delivered, an hour and a half hours after their sister.

Health issues

Jason informed the triplets were treated for various health issues like sepsis, jaundice, and respiratory difficulties. They also underwent MRI scans, where white matter injuries were found in their brains, which the doctors say could be a sign of cerebral palsy.

Hopkins also informed that Porscha-Mae and Payton-Jane have mobility difficulties as they are unable to sit or stand upright without assistance. “They don’t physically move. We have to do everything for them,” Michaela said.

They are both fed through enteral nutrition, whereby a liquid food mixture is delivered directly into the stomach through a tube. However, Rubi-Rose can eat, crawl and walk on her own.

A difficult journey for the parents

Both Jason and Michaela have been through various physical, psychological, and financial stress post covid. The couple lost their jobs due to the pandemic and were eventually evicted and placed into temporary accommodation by the local council.

“I think it might have been stress that brought my waters on,” Michaela said.

After the birth of their children, Jason said he was equally affected by the situation and suffered postnatal depression and later developed PTSD after witnessing Payton-Jane being resuscitated with CPR.

Jason says he still experiences panic attacks and has trouble sleeping.

The Hopkins’, who have two other children, now say they have dedicated their lives to raising awareness about premature babies and mental health issues.

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2023-03-29T03:03:33Z dg43tfdfdgfd