A family from Wigton are sharing their experience of the life-saving hospital care they received for their twins, who were born prematurely.
Mandy Marsden gave birth to Joshua and Darcy 23 weeks and 5 days into the pregnancy, weighing just over one pound each.
They were treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle, which says changes to the way they treat premature babies have led to a dramatic increase in the number surviving the critical early stages of their lives.
The Special Care Baby Unit at the RVI is the specialist referral centre for the North East and Cumbria and sees some of the most critically ill babies from all over the Region.
Mandy says the first three months after the twins were born were the most crucial:
Now two and a half, Darcy and Joshua, survived against the odds.
The chances of survival for babies born at 23 weeks has remained at around 20 per cent for many years.
Whilst for those born at 24 weeks and above - the rates have been steadily rising.
Now, for the first time, the team at the RVI have seen an improvement in the chances for these tiny 23 week babies:
These tiny changes aim to help more babies live but also, crucially, to live well.
The ultimate challenge is to allow their brains to develop unhindered by the battles their bodies are fighting.
The story of being premature doesn't end when babies leave hospital:
Up to 1000 babies come to the Special Care Baby Unit here every year.
These changes in their care give all parents hope of a better future for their baby, taking a little bit of fear out of premature birth.