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Miracle Aus Day twins turn 14

IVF twins Leith and Jarvis Miller with Jenni Miller and Dr Paul Stokes.
IVF twins Leith and Jarvis Miller with Jenni Miller and Dr Paul Stokes. John McCutcheon

YESTERDAY was a very different Australia Day to the one Jenni Miller woke up to 14 years ago.

Mrs Miller was pregnant with the Sunshine Coast's first IVF babies when she woke up feeling unwell on January 26, 1998.

But by lunchtime it had become apparent she was suffering labour pains.

The babies were on their way - at only 26 weeks and four days gestation.

With holiday traffic at gridlock on the Bruce Hwy, a decision was made to fly Mrs Miller to Brisbane to give the babies the best chance of survival.

Leith Jaclyn was born at 11.25pm that night weighing 930g, followed two minutes later by her brother, Jarvis Doyle, weighing 1000g.

Mrs Miller's doctor, Paul Stokes, of Coastal IVF, said such premature twins had a survival rate of only 30-40% at the time, and a large percentage of those who survived often had complications as a result of their prematurity. Mrs Miller said she knew from the start that Leith would survive - "she was a strong, determined girl" but Jarvis had her worried for a long time.

"He had to be revived seven times. The 'crash' trolleys would come in. I was there when it happened twice," she said.

The twins came home at 100 days old and have not looked back.

They are now in Year 9 at Immanuel Lutheran College and excel at music, love skateboarding and hanging out with their friends.

Leith enjoys sport and plays soccer and representative OzTag, and Jarvis likes body boarding and is a voracious reader.

Mrs Miller brought the twins in to meet the doctor who made them possible this week.

She said her children were a reminder to never give up. She and her husband, Graham, had tried for 14 years to have children before she fell pregnant on their last attempt at IVF when she was 39.

The Coastal IVF clinic has helped bring an estimated 1200-1300 babies into the world through IVF since the twins' birth 14 years ago.

Topics:  australia day birthday ivf twins



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