PREMATURE twins who spent more than 1,000 hours in an intensive care unit have finally been able to come home.

Elizabeth and Etta Kearns-Turner were born nine weeks early at Burnley General Hospital on August 25, despite being due at the end of this month.

Their mum, Suzy, said she had a relatively comfortable pregnancy but 31 weeks in she felt sharp pains in her abdomen and feared she was having contractions.

Having being asked to come into hospital by nurses, an hour after arriving she was rushed into theatre, due to Elizabeth’s heart rate dropping, and had to undergo an emergency caesarean.

Mrs Kearns-Turner, 32, from Langho, said she remembers looking at the nurses and doctors, with her daughters and had the horrible feeling of not being able to hold them.

She said: “I remember saying to the midwife - ‘are my babies going to die?’.

“It was just awful. It was the most terrifying, traumatic experience of my life.

“I felt like my control had been taken away, it was so scary.”

Elizabeth was born first, weighing just 2lbs 11oz, followed by Etta two minutes later, weighing 2lbs and 10oz.

Mrs Kearns-Turner, who runs Langho Swimming School, said she was desperate to hold her twins due to birthing complications with her first two children, Eric, five, and Edie, four.

The mum-of-four spent all the time she could with her babies, documenting everything with pictures, making notes of their weight and what feed they were having.

She said: “When I left hospital after giving birth I got home and just broke down.

“It’s the most soul destroying feeling. I had given birth but I didn’t have babies to take home yet.

“I can still hear the beeps of the monitors now.

“I became paranoid with the monitors, if the numbers dropped I got worried.”

Both girls made good progress, however Etta did have the occasional set back, which saw Elizabeth able to go home first, after 1,012 hours in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Etta was able to go home a couple of days later, spending 1,058 hours in the unit.

The girls spent six weeks in hospital.

On hearing the news both girls would be home together at least, Mrs Kearns-Turner, who is married to Mic, said: “I just cried.

“I wanted my girls home so badly and I was so happy we could all be home as a family.

“We called the girls our ‘little NICU warriors’.”

Mr Kearns-Turner, 39, said the hospital staff could not have been more helpful.

He said: “We were on first name terms with a lot of them we had got to know them so well.

“There are so many people we have to thank because they were all exceptional.

“They are angels in uniforms.

“We’re so grateful as we saw and spoke to a lot of parents who were not as fortunate as us.”

The babies weigh more than 5lbs and are making good progress.

Mrs Kearns-Turner said: “They were supposed to be due on October 23.

“They’re doing great now, they’re doing a lot of sleeping and letting themselves develop and grow.

“Our other two love them to pieces and they’re always trying to help.

“We’re so lucky we’ve got our girls home.”