Chesterfield couple's heartache as twins die from rare illness

Katy Lang and Ian Sutcliffe.
Katy Lang and Ian Sutcliffe.

A Chesterfield mum and dad are raising awareness of ‘twin to twin transfusion syndrome’ (TTS) after they lost their identical twin girls to the devastating condition.

Katy Lang and Liam Sutcliffe were thrilled to discover they were expecting twins at their 12-week scan.

It came as a complete shock, but the couple were excited for the future.

Katy said: “We were then told about the possibility of TTTS. We’d never heard of it before and were not given much information at that time. We were told there were no signs so look out for.

“I suffered some discomfort a few days before the 18 weeks scan, but just put that down to being pregnant with twins.”

The scan showed the twins had stage 4 TTTS – the most severe.

TTTS occurs in about 10-15 per cent of identical twins who share a placenta and can have serious consequences.

It can appear at any time during pregnancy, but most commonly before 24 weeks gestation.

The condition occurs when there is an imbalance of blood supply from the placenta to both babies.

One baby receives less blood and becomes small and anaemic while the other receives too much which can put too much pressure on their heart.

Katy was rushed to Birmingham Women’s Hospital under the care of Professor Mark Kilby. It was there that laser ablation was carried out, this seals shut the blood vessels between the twins and excess amniotic fluid was drained away.

Katy said: “Professor Kilby explained all the risks involved but it was never an option for us not to have the procedure, we wanted to give our twins every possible chance of survival.

“We drove home the same day and hoped for the best, but sadly my waters broke that night. We were desperate to get to 24 weeks but our baby girls Hallie and Harper were born sleeping at 19 weeks and three days.”

Now the couple want to do something positive in their memory and raise awareness of TTTS.

Katy said: “I know that Tamba ( twins and multiple birth association) do a great job raising awareness of the condition and has a lot of information on its website.”

They are holding a charity ball in their memory on January 25 2020 at the Peak Edge Hotel in Chesterfield. Tickets are £30. The money raised will be split between Tamba and local charity Joel: The Complete Package.

For details visit

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