Baby Surgeons: Delivering Miracles airs its first episode tonight at 9pm on Channel 426 April 2021
Each episode tells the story of three women who have rare and complex pregnancies. As Professor Basky Thilaganathan, Clinical Director of the Fetal Medicine Unit, explains in the opening titles “It’s a miracle when a sperm and egg meet, but sometimes things don’t go to plan.”
One St George’s Hospital Charity supporter that knows that all too well, who doesn’t feature in the series, is Craig Peters whose identical twins were diagnosed with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) at 20 weeks back in 2014.
TTTS is when identical twins who share a placenta have blood connections inside the placenta. TTTS happens when there are too many blood connections in one direction, causing an unequal flow of blood between the twins, something which occurs in 10% of multiple pregnancies. TTTS affects only identical or monozygotic twins who develop from the splitting of a single egg during the first 14 days after fertilisation, and who also share a placenta - monochorionic twins.
Craig and his wife Kyrie were rushed to St George’s Hospital and underwent emergency laser surgery. This technique, developed and led by Professor Basky and his team at St George's, involves using a laser to burn and close the blood vessels in the placenta.
The surgery was a success and Craig said “I’m pleased to report both boys are healthy, happy little babies. Basky, these boys are only here thanks to you and your wonderful team and there isn’t a day which goes by where I don’t think of you and what you’ve done. My family and I will forever be in your debt and we will never forget you. May I say it simply: Thank you Basky.”
In 2016, Craig decided to take on a Burpee Challenge to raise enough money to fund the Fetal Endoscopic Kit that saved his sons lives. Craig completed 6,500 burpees in 24 hours, and another 45,000 in 2017, raising £17,000 in total.
In 2019, Craig visited St George’s Hospital Maternity Unit and saw the piece of equipment that his fundraising allowed the Fetal Medicine Team to purchase. Craig said “To have now been told that the piece of equipment I fundraised for is not only operational but is in fact improving clinical outcomes in TTTS, that’s news that I don’t think will ever sink in. It makes every single piece of blood, sweat and tears completely worth it. I always set out to do what I can to give something back to the people who gave us our boys, though I never imagined I’d raise enough money to purchase another actual piece of equipment. I’m absolutely overjoyed to know it is saving lives.”
Craig also added “We appreciate we are one of the lucky ones and there's more and more people out there experiencing the roller-coaster ride of TTTS, sometimes with very tragic consequences.”
Sadly, despite medical intervention, not all pregnancies go to plan - and St George’s, Channel 4 and Tommy’s Charity will be aiming to raise awareness and break the silence surrounding baby loss, including miscarriage and stillbirth through Baby Surgeons: Delivering Miracles.
We hope you tune in tonight at 9pm and join the conversation with (@StGeorgesTrust) on Twitter using #BabySurgeons as St George’s live tweet throughout each episode.
At St George’s Hospital Charity we want to say thank you to all the staff and teams involved and to the brave patients who have shared their story.