Parents say baby born just 1lb has ‘kept fighting’ thanks to cuddles from identical twin brother

The unbreakable bond between these baby twins is inspiring people all over the world.

Twins Chester and Otis raves were born prematurely at 28 weeks, on July 15. While Otis weighed 3lb 7oz, his brother was born just 1lb 1oz.


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Six weeks later, Otis was discharged as he reached a healthy weight of 6lb 3oz. Sadly, his baby brother is still struggling to gain weight. He is now 3lb 6oz, which is still far too little for a newborn. Nevertheless, their parents, Kelly Graves, 32, and husband, Billy, 35, from Benfleet, Essex, believe their powerful twin bond will give Chester the strength he needs to survive.

As per Daily Mail, the twins’ mom, claims:

“I have no doubt that cuddles with his twin has helped him keep fighting.”


Credits: Caters News Agency

Kelly continues:

“The twins finally met for the first time since being born on September 22, which was incredibly emotional. It was everything I was waiting for, and although Otis was asleep, Chester was obsessed with him and couldn’t take his eyes away from his brother.”

Chester is currently at the neonatal unit at Southend Hospital, where he will likely remain for another two months.


Credits: Caters News Agency

The mom says:

“We are so lucky that Chester is a fighter and despite everything he has been through, he is still fighting in order to come home and be with his parents, Otis, and the rest of the family. He is still being incubated and kept on high flow oxygen since being transferred back to our local hospital in Southend.”

She adds:

“We cannot wait to finally get Chester home. We are hoping to bring him back in November.”

Kelly found out about Chester’s health problems during her 16-week scan when doctors told her the babies differed in size by 25%. 


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The concerning size difference was caused by Selective Intrauterine Growth Restriction – a condition, which results in Chester’s growth being halted as he couldn’t receive the required nutrients from the placenta.

Three weeks later, Kelly was admitted to the Kings College Hospital in London for laser surgical treatment. She recalls:

“They informed us that there was absent flow of nutrients to Chester was the reason why he wasn’t really growing. ‘I had to have endoscopic laser surgery whereby they enter the womb through the side of your body in order to reach the placenta kill of the blood vessels connecting the two babies. 

The surgery was performed to separate the babies in the womb so that if Chester hadn’t survived it would have protected Otis from dying or being left with lasting brain damage.”


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Following the operation, Otis was growing about 100g a week, while his brother was still only growing by 25g for the same amount of time.

After every scan, the mom was being told that Chester “may not survive.”

Kelly explains:

“I went away and was eating around 200g of protein per day to help him grow and was drinking around five litres of water to try and get Chester’s water levels up because they were also low. This was not in any way proven to help, but I tried everything I could to replenish his levels and keep him fighting.”

At the 28th week of pregnancy, Chester’s condition stabilized. That’s when Kelly’s waters broke, and she was admitted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. She says:

“At this point, Chester was 485 grams which was close to being deemed viable, but we were told his heart rate kept dipping and that the chances of survival from the cesarean would be low. We just had to hope that he would keep fighting.”


Credits: Caters News Agency

While Otis was immediately put into an incubator after Kelly’s C-section, Chester had to be stabilized first, as his condition deteriorated during the birth. The mom continues:

“When Chester came out, they found a knot in his cord which also halted his growth, and the consultant was desperate to get him incubated as soon as possible to help him survive…

He also had a hole in his heart which was discovered afterwards which has now thankfully closed and also eye surgery.”

Otis and Chester had been separated for 46 days after their birth. 

Kelly and Billy had to travel from Addenbrooke Hospital to Southend every day to check up on their babies. Meanwhile, they also had to take care of their other children – Phoebe, 10, Florence, 8, and Albert, 5. As Kelly says, it took them around three and a half hours to see all of their kids. She adds:

“People kept asking how we did it, but we had no choice, we went into survival mode and just kept going. The worst thing was that this was all happening over the school holidays, so we were barely able to spend any time with the kids who had to stay with other family members.

The kids have been incredible, they are so young but are just as desperate to get Chester home as they haven’t been able to even really meet him yet due to covid.”


Credits: Caters News Agency

At present, Chester remains in the Southend Hospital, while Otis is finally at home. 

According to Kelly, having Otis at home feels “bittersweet.” She clarifies:

“We have Otis at home now and everyone says how nice it must be, but it’s also horrible because we can’t feel complete until both babies are back together.”


Credits: Caters News Agency

The mom notes:

“[Chester] has to gain a further 255 grams still and will most likely be on low flow oxygen when he’s home, but we are hoping in around a month or two he can finally meet the rest of the family.”

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