Former Hampstead and Kilburn parliamentary candidate's delight as premature twins arrive home
PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 August 2013 | UPDATED: 16:22 02 August 2013
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Former parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn Chris Philp is celebrating with his wife as their baby twins have finally returned home after being born three months prematurely.
The couple are now settling into normal family life with their baby son and daughter, Nicholas and Kitty, after a traumatic few months in hospital.
Mr Philp’s wife Elizabeth was taken to University College London Hospital (UCLH) in early April – 15 weeks before she was due to give birth – and told by doctors she was in the early stages of labour. Two days later, she gave birth to twins who were immediately transferred to the hospital’s neonatal unit.
They were put on ventilators and stayed at UCLH in central London for six weeks before being moved to the Royal Free Hospital, where to their relief Nicholas and Kitty went from strength to strength.
Mr and Mrs Philp, of Lisburne Road, Hampstead, have praised staff at both hospitals.
Mr Philp, 37, who runs his own investment business, said: “We were really worried because the survival rate for premature twins can be 50/50, but the neonatal unit at UCLH did a really good job looking after them.
“It was quite a shock, but now we’re contending with the normal things new parents go through, like sleepless nights. All the things that could have gone wrong didn’t, so it’s a big relief.”
Mrs Philp, 39, added: “We were very fortunate because the twins had no problems, so we got through the first week exceptionally well. We were very, very lucky.”
The neonatal unit at UCLH is one of eight in London for extremely premature babies. Its survival rate of about 75 to 80 per cent is well above the national average of roughly 60 per cent.
Neonatal specialist Professor Neil Marlow, who treated Nicholas and Kitty, said: “Babies born at 25 weeks need a lot of intensive care and support. They spend a long time on the ventilator and on intravenous feeding.
“The big worry is what the long-term outcomes are and a small proportion will have a major disability, like cerebral palsy, but the majority grow up without any problems. I’m very pleased the twins are coming along nicely.”
Mr Philp was the Conservative candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn in 2010 but lost out to long-standing MP Glenda Jackson by a margin of just 42 votes.