PREMATURE twins who spent more than 1,000 hours in an intensive care unit have celebrated their “special” first Christmas at 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 October.

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

The sisters spent the day with their mum, dad Mic and siblings Eric and Edie.

Mrs Kearns-Turner, who runs Langho Swimming School, said: “It was amazing having them home at Christmas, they’ve come on so much. It was really special.

“The day went so fast, it was magical with them. The twins also got to visit Father Christmas which was fantastic for them. We’ve been given the best presents this year and are extremely lucky.”

The family woke up at 7.30am on Christmas Day and opened their presents together.

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 been 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.

Both made good progress, however Etta did have the occasional set back. Elizabeth was able to go home first after 1,012 hours in the neonatal intensive care unit. Etta was able to go home a couple of days later, after 1,058 hours. They spent a total of six weeks in hospital.

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

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph in October, Mr Kearns-Turner 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.”

On hearing the news both girls would be home together at least, Mrs Kearns-Turner, said: “I just cried. I wanted my girls home so badly and I was so happy we could all be home as a family."