Mum, 23, forced to turn off baby twin’s life support machine after premature birth


Kirsty Black, 23, from Carluke, South Lanarkshire, said goodbye to baby Ava on New Year’s Day while her surviving twin Ayla was brought home three months later

Kirsty Black with surviving twin Ayla

A mum told of her heartache after turning off life support for one of her newborn baby twins.

Kirsty Black, 23, gave birth to daughters Ayla and Ava at 25 weeks.

The first time mum was rushed to University Hospital Wishaw, North Lanarkshire, for an emergency C-section before giving birth to the girls on December 28.

Tragically both babies suffered bleeds on the brain.

Ava, who weighed just one pound and 11 ounces, suffered most severely and her heart stopped for 12 minutes at birth due to a lack of oxygen.

Within five days she had become “completely brain damaged”.

Kirsty and partner Kevin Allan, 34, had to make the devastating decision to “let her go” at 1am on New Year’s Day in her mum’s arms.







Kirsty told of her heartache losing one of her beloved twins
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Glasgow Times/SWNS)

Ayla, who weighed just 1 pound and 10 ounces, also suffered a brain bleed although it was less severe.

The couple were able to bring her home to Carluke, South Lanarkshire, 93 days later.

Ayla now weighs more than seven pounds and has chronic lung disease.

Kirsty said: “I held Ava in my arms while they turned her machines off. It was best to take her off all the machines and let her slip away. They said it could be quick or she could hold on for a few hours.







Baby Ayla when she was first born
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Kirsty Black/SWNS)







Baby Ava who tragically died after her life-support was turned off on New Year’s Day
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Kirsty Black/SWNS)

“I felt she took her last wee breath just after midnight as I was telling her to hold on. I didn’t want her anniversary being on New Year’s Day but she was pronounced just after 1am.

“We knew we had to be strong for Ayla and not lose hope. The nurses were a great support and made sure she was coming home.

“I don’t know where I’ve found the strength. Ayla defeated all the odds and luckily only had a little bleed in her brain but it recovered.

“We are lucky that throughout her journey she has done well and was very strong considering she was born extremely 15 weeks early.”







Kirsty holding Ava and her mum Margaret Black holding Ayla
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Kirsty Black/SWNS)

Kirsty praised the team working in the Wishaw Neonatal unit.

She added: “It was a very very long journey in the neonatal but the staff made us feel safe when we lost Ava.

“I’ve never felt more supported by all the nurses and doctors. They looked after our girls like they where their own and I will be forever grateful for an amazing team.







The young mum and her daughter Ayla, who survived after a bleed to the brain
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Image:

Glasgow Times/SWNS)

“Some days were harder than others as it’s a terrifying experience. You don’t know what you are going to expect the next day you just had to have hope.

“We are also holding a race night to raise awareness for the outstanding job they do daily, not only for my babies but for all the other babies and families that experience the neonatal.

“It’s just a little something back to say thank you although nothing would ever be enough to thank them for everything.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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