THEY came into the world 12 weeks early – and Zachary and Reuben Smith owe their lives to the care and dedication of hospital staff.
Even though the trauma of the twins’ first few months has left Zachary deaf and Reuben with cerebral palsy, their parents Haanagh and Michael Smith are hoping there is a bright future for their boys, now aged 15 months.
And Sandra Mitchell, who is Haanagh’s mother and secretary of Fareham Flower Club, has convinced the club to choose the Queen Alexandra Hospital neo-natal unit as its annual charity.
Mrs Smith, 32, said: ‘The pregnancy was going fine until 26 weeks when they told me Zachary had stopped growing. Reuben was getting more blood than his brother so they had to make a delivery.’
Due to a lack of beds locally, Mrs Smith had to go to London a fortnight later. Reuben weighed 3lbs, and his brother just 2lbs.
Within days of their birth, Zachary had a bout of meningitis and Reuben suffered a massive brain haemorrhage.
Mrs Smith added: ‘At first we had doctors telling us one would be lucky to survive and that the other would be so disabled his quality of life would be negligible.’
The boys were soon transferred to QA in Portsmouth, and it was several more weeks before they were able to come home. Since then they have had to make numerous return trips. ‘The staff at QA gave us hope again without it being false hope,’ said Mrs Smith.
‘They are amazing. If we can give them a little bit back, that would be brilliant. Words can’t repay what they did, words just aren’t enough.’
Members of the flower club will be making and selling posies for the unit, and will be near the Bodyshop in Fareham Shopping Centre in Fareham on Saturday, April 2, from 9am to 5pm, the day before Mothering Sunday..