Twins together, but nations apart

Twins Dylan and Hannh Fox at home with dad Joe, mum Donna and older sister Jessica after their cross border birth and stay at BGH
Twins Dylan and Hannh Fox at home with dad Joe, mum Donna and older sister Jessica after their cross border birth and stay at BGH

THE BGH played a major part in the birth of twins which involved a cross-border dash.

Donna Keenan and her partner Joe Fox, who also have a daughter, Jessica, two, were at Joe’s parents’ house in the Northumberland town of Wooler when Donna went into labour with the twins. With no time to get to hospital, baby Dylan Joseph was born, weighing 5lb 13oz, on his grandparents’ living room floor.

But that wasn’t the end of the drama – Donna was then rushed across the border to Borders General Hospital where Dylan’s twin sister, Hannah Rose, arrived, tipping the scales at 4lb 14.5oz.

“It was all a bit of a shock, but now we’ve got them home it’s starting to sink in,” 28-year-old Donna said.

The drama unfolded when Donna and Joe, 24, were watching Spain v Italy in the Euro 2012 football final on July 1.

“I was just sitting in the living room and the next thing my waters broke – it was a shock because I’d just been at the hospital that day for a check-up and everything was fine,” Donna explained.

“That was just after 8pm. I called the hospital and they said to come straight in, but we didn’t have time. My contractions started really quickly and we had to call an ambulance. The next thing the paramedics were there saying, ‘you’re going to have to have him on the living room floor’.”

Although Dylan came far quicker than expected, Joe said: “I sort of knew everything was going to be alright. When Dylan was born Jessica was upstairs with my brother. Donna was screaming with the contractions and my brother told her that her mum was screaming because the doctor was tickling her – so every time Donna screamed you could hear Jessica laughing upstairs!

“When Dylan arrived my mum brought Jess down. She kissed him then wrapped her arms around my mum and said, ‘thank you’, like she’d been given a present. It was the sweetest thing.”

Dylan arrived safely, but the paramedics were keen to get him, and Donna, to hospital.

“We had to quickly get in the ambulance and go to the BGH,” Donna said. “I thought twins came minutes apart from each other, but they were telling me in the ambulance not to push. It felt like the longest journey ever.

“When we got to hospital all the midwives and the doctors were waiting. They rushed me down to theatre because they thought they’d have to do a C-section, but Hannah arrived naturally at 11.39pm.”

The twins’ unusual cross-border arrival has caused quite a stir, with Donna and Joe’s story being featured in national newspapers, as well as on radio and television in England, Scotland and further afield.

“It’s a bit mad,” Donna admitted. “I’ve just had a lady on the phone from BBC Portugal asking if they can use the story. It is a nice story, but we have found it all a bit strange.”

It’s the question of Dylan and Hannah’s nationality that seems to be attracting media interest.

But proud dad Joe, who works at Haggerston Castle holiday park near Berwick, isn’t taking the question too seriously.

“In my eyes they’re definitely English, but I think with an English boy and two Scottish girls it will be quite funny to take the mick out of them when they get older,” he said.