The girls recently turned five. It’s a milestone their parents Kate and Michael appreciate more than most.
When Kate and Michael Petersen found out they were expecting identical twins they were over the moon, but their joy turned to fear when their babies were diagnosed with a life-threating condition.
During Kate’s 16 week scan, doctors diagnosed Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS)—a condition in which blood from one twin is transfused into the other twin through their shared placenta.
The couple were referred to Dr Glenn Gardener at Mater’s Centre for Maternal Fetal Medicine.
“We didn't know if we were going to have one baby, two babies or any babies,” Kate said.
At 23 weeks gestation, Dr Gardener performed laser surgery in-utero on the couple’s twin daughters, saving their precious lives.
“Glenn Gardener is our hero, for sure. Not only given the skill he has medically, but his bedside manner, his knowledge, his confidence and just his demeanour is so reassuring,” Kate said.
Twelve weeks later, Charlotte and Chelsea were delivered naturally at 35 weeks gestation.
“We so often forget what the outcome could have been but we are grateful that they are happy, vibrant little princesses,” Kate said. “Their health is excellent and while they have always been close, the last six months has seen them seal their ‘BFF’ status and they are virtually inseparable”.
As the first hospital in Australia to perform this type of specialised surgery, Mater continues to lead the way in maternal fetal medicine.
Purchasing tickets in the Mater Prize Home lottery helps Mater’s littlest patients before, during and after they are born—giving Mater little miracles, like Chelsea and Charlotte, the best possible start to life.