Joshua Jefferson, a tiny boy fighting for his life in hospital was witness to a miracle that no one had ever imagined.
The boy grew stronger each time his identical twin Edward was put in his cot.
Joshua fought through two surgeries with his brother and was eventually able to get out of the hospital.
The twins also celebrated Christmas this year together, with Adele and Martin being relieved.
Martin and Adele were relieved to see their twins celebrate Christmas together.
Mr Jefferson, 42, a police crime scene investigator, said: ‘It definitely helped Joshua having his brother there in his cot, it really settled him. There is such a strong bond between them.’
In October 2020, Joshua was born prematurely at 6 weeks. Edward was 4lb 4oz. The twins were discharged from hospital after spending 18 days in special medical care. They returned to Harrogate, North Yorkshire for the first time, where William was two years old.
But four days later Joshua stopped feeding, and he was rushed back into A&E.
Joshua’s breathing stopped immediately upon arrival. His parents were worried about the worst. Mr Jefferson recalled: ‘He was resuscitated three times, and the doctors said that he may not make it.’
Joshua was transferred from Los Angeles to Sheffield after it became apparent that Joshua had necrotising Enterocolitis. It is an intestinal infection caused by a flesh-eating insect.
‘We didn’t know what was going to happen,’ Mr Jefferson said.
He was six weeks old when he had to have two operations. One to remove part of his bowel, and the other to insert a stoma that would divert his colon. Mr Jefferson, whose wife is a primary school teacher, said: ‘He got a little bit stronger, but wasn’t allowed home for Christmas. Edward was brought in by his parents to be seen. We dressed him up in a Santa suit. Joshua received a Christmas cap and was placed side-by. They were snuggling up, and it really calmed Joshua.’
Joshua underwent another surgery after Christmas to correct his stoma. Edward was by Joshua’s side and he grew stronger. In February, he returned home and is now stronger than ever.
Mr Jefferson said: ‘Joshua still needs three-monthly check-ups, but he’s meeting his milestones, just like his brother. Both of them are strong, healthy 1-year-olds and love to sing nursery rhymes. They have very different personalities.’
The couple, who have been supported by the Sick Children’s Trust, are thrilled to have enjoyed their first Christmas as a family.
Mr Jefferson said: ‘It’s such a special one for us. Last year, we didn’t know what the future was going to bring.’