A woman from the Isle of Wight is releasing a book to raise awareness of the rare condition that affects identical twins.
Nichola Luther, mother to identical twin boys, Leo and Asher, has based TAPS, Identical Twins and Covid – a Story of Surviving on her own experiences.
Twin Anaemia Polycythemia Sequence (TAPS) affects 3-5% of identical twins and occurs when small blood vessels form in the placenta between the babies, allowing a slow passage of blood from one baby to the other.
This leaves one twin very anaemic and the other polycythaemic (with a very high blood count) and can lead to extra strain on the heart in both babies.
Leo and Asher's lives were saved after they were tested and diagnosed with the syndrome — but this was before surgeons were able to operate on them in the womb to save them.
Nichola is now sharing her story to raise awareness of the condition in the hope that parents experiencing the same journey see it as a ray of hope.
“When I found out the boys had TAPS there was next to nothing that was positive to find anywhere, it was terrifying.
I wrote the book to make the condition less scary and let parents of unborn TAPS twins know that they’re not alone.”
Nichola underwent a fetoscopic laser procedure to treat her babies which involved inserting a camera into the womb, then using a laser to seal off the blood vessels that had been allowing blood to leak from one baby to the other.
The procedure was a success and, following further monitoring, Leo and Asher were born healthy.
Nichola hopes that her book will not only raise awareness but also funds for vital research into TAPS and similar conditions.