Sneyd Green twins celebrate 12th birthday on 12-12-12
TWINS Reece and Ryan Bates were today celebrating their 12th birthday – on the 12th day of the 12th month of 2012!
And the pair, who were born dangerously premature, are marking the occasion by raising hundreds of pounds for the hospital wards that saved their lives.
On Saturday they attended a fundraising ball set up by the family with all proceeds going to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire's paediatric intensive care and neonatal units.
The boys' mum Maria Jolly said: "We hadn't had the time to consider what to do to pay them back for everything they did.
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"But after we realised their 12th birthday would fall on the 12th of the December 2012 I thought, why don't we raise the money and give it back to them?"
Reece and Ryan were born 10 weeks premature, weighing only 2lb 7oz and 3lb 11oz and were immediately taken to the neonatal department. Both needed close medical attention, but Reece spent an extra eight weeks in intensive care.
At one stage he was given only a 50-50 chance of survival after contracting a virus.
Maria, aged 47, said: "This was a traumatic time for the whole family. But they were both incubated and looked after by a special team of doctors and nurses for the first months of their lives before we could safely bring our two smiling bundles of joy home."
The twins, who attend Holden Lane High School, attended the event, at Sneyd Green Community Hall, and helped raise £330.
That will be added to an impressive £1,659 already raised through a charity walk up Mount Snowdon.
Ryan said: "When we went to the ball they showed a video of our lives from when we were babies at the hospital. I didn't get embarrassed, I liked it."
Reece said: "I really enjoyed the ball."
The Sneyd Green brothers, who were today spending the day at school, plan to present the cash to the hospital later tonight.
Modest Maria said: "Ideally I wanted to raise a total of £1,212.12 for each unit but we will just have to split what we have raised."
The boys took to the stage to do a dance for the audience at Saturday's event.
Reece and his brother Ryan, who is ten minutes younger, both performed to Lady Gaga's song, Love Game.
About 70 friends and family arrived at the event arranged by Maria, the boy's grandmother, Barbara and aunty, Rebecca Leyland.
Maria said: "I hope more people support the excellent services provided by our hospital. Without them, I would not have my special boys beside me today."