A mum of twins has spoken of her heartbreak after she took the agonising decision to turn off one son’s life support machine – on the same day she took his brother home.
Demi May, 21, was forced to make the decision more than 100 days after giving birth to twins by emergency Caesarean, after medics told her little Harley had no chance at life.
Sadly, the twins suffered from selective intrauterine growth restriction, meaning weaker twin Harley was only kept alive in the womb by bigger brother Harrison.
After months of intensive care treatment, the Demi and husband Steven took the agonising decision to turn off his life support.
Just hours after Harley passed away, medics told the crying pair, that they could take home Harrison.
The full-time mum, from Salisbury, Wilts., said: “As a parent, the last thing you expect to do is make a decision to end your child’s life.
“I wanted more than anything to have both my baby boys healthy and happy, but I couldn’t watch Harley suffer any more.
“I lost one son but gained another.
“I was only 20 at the time and I’d never lost anyone, to lose my own son was horrendous.”
The loving couple had splashed out thousands of pounds on two of everything a newborn needed after Demi was told she was expecting twins, last July.
But that joy turned to sadness when doctors told Demi the twins selective intrauterine growth restriction – a rare medical condition that causes massive health concerns.
She was forced to give birth in an emergency C-section on January 16, 13 weeks before their due date.
Stronger Harrison was born weighing 1lb 13oz, while weak Harley was just 1lb 4oz.
The exhausted mum and her husband Steven, 32, an Army signaller, weren’t even allowed to cuddle their boys as they were both rushed off to intensive care.
Harrison had a pulmonary haemorrhage and underwent a gruelling operation at ten days old to close an open valve in his heart.
While Harrison recovered, little Harley suffered a catastrophic series of medical emergencies, including hernias, detached retinas and bones so brittle his parents were never allowed to hold him.
They took the agonising decision to turn off his life support on April 29, and, after six hours of palliative care, Harley passed away.
Later that evening, medics gave the grieving couple the all clear to finally bring Harrison home.
She said: “I will always feel guilty for the decision I made, but really I had no choice. It will take some time to come to terms with it but I know it was the right thing to do. Harley would have had no quality of life and we didn’t want that for him.
“Now, when I hold Harrison in my arms I can’t help but think of his twin. It really is a bittersweet feeling.”