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Cosima and Apollo fly home to be reunited with their dads

Sunderland Royal Hospital

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

280 miles

Plane journey icon

Made in Chelsea stars, Ollie and Gareth Locke-Locke, welcomed their twins, Cosima and Apollo, on 8th July 2023. The twins were born seven weeks early at the Sunderland Royal Hospital when the twin's surrogate, Bex, went into early labour. As soon as Ollie and Gareth heard that the twins were on their way, they boarded the first train from London to Sunderland so that they could meet them shortly after birth.

Being born so early, Cosima and Apollo were immediately placed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Apollo required extra support with breathing and so was transferred to another hospital for an uplift in care. They added a special tube to assist him with breathing but he pulled it out within five minutes and started breathing on his own. Everyone was amazed at his strength and determination and was soon reunited at Sunderland Royal Hospital with his sister Cosima.

Ollie and Gareth describe the first 24 hours as “terrifying” and “filled with questions”, but the twins were strong. They were further ahead in their development than expected. On the second day of the twins’ life, Ollie and Gareth were able to start caring for their little ones. They changed their nappies and had some skin-on-skin time which is vital for any parent to bond with their newborn.

Ollie and Gareth visited the twins in hospital every day during the first few weeks of their life. However, it was becoming increasingly difficult to be 280 miles from their home and support network in London.

Apollo & Cosima 2
Apollo & Cosima

Lia’s Wings, a national charity that provides air transfers for children, were contacted to fly the twins from Sunderland Royal Hospital to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital which is just a short distance from their family home in Chelsea. Due to the 280-mile distance, our aeroplane ambulance service was the best possible transport option for Cosima and Apollo. Aeroplanes are less subject to noise and vibration and therefore over longer distances are often a safer and more comfortable environment for children, especially premature babies like Cosima and Apollo. We also provide a cot-to-cot service which means our flight teams journeyed with them from Sunderland Royal Hospital to Newcastle Airport, throughout the air transfer, and then from Biggin Hill Airport to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Ollie and Gareth were unable to fly with the twins, but our Lia’s Wings flight team ensured Cosima and Apollo were kept safe and content throughout the journey.

Once they arrived in London, Ollie and Gareth were reunited with the twins. They were able to prepare their home for the twins' arrival whilst juggling work commitments and the twins' neonatal care. They were also able to receive vital support from friends and family and for some of their support network, it was the first time they met Cosima and Apollo.

The twins progressed quickly at the NICU at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and were soon discharged home. They are now thriving as a family of four! You can follow their journey by watching ‘Our Daddy Diaries’ on YouTube (look out for the Lia’s Wings bears in the first few episodes!).

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