AKRON, Ohio - The adorable, mono mono twins girls who held hands moments after they were born in an Akron hospital have captured worldwide attention.
"They became rock stars right away as soon as they came out," said their mother Sarah Thistlethwaite.
NewsChannel5 first reported on the remarkable delivery last Friday at Akron General Medical Center. A Facebook post showing Jillian and Jenna Thistlethwaite grasping hands in the delivery room had been viewed by roughly 27 million people as of Monday afternoon.
The story has since been featured in multiple national and international publications and broadcasts. Thistlethwaite said a high school friend even saw the story on a news broadcast in Australia.
"When they were born like that, and as soon as they were taken out, that they wanted to grab each other's hands, it just brought me to tears," Thistlethwaite said Monday afternoon while holding Jillian inside the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Akron Children's Hospital.
The twins were delivered by Dr. Melissa Mancuso and Dr. Katherine Wolfe from Akron Children's and both were stunned by the precious hand-holding moment.
"We do thousands of deliveries, but this one was really special because I took the first baby out and my partner took the second baby out and we held them up for Sarah to see and immediately they grasped hands," Mancuso said.
Thistlethwaite and her husband, Bill, of Orrville agreed to allow NewsChannel5 into the delivery room to capture the special moment of the rare mono mono twins being born two days before Mother's Day.
Mono mono twins share the same amniotic sac and placenta and account for one out of 10,000 births. This type of pregnancy is considered high-risk because of possible cord entanglement or compression.
Sarah said she is tired and sore from Caesarean section delivery, but also overjoyed that her twins, born at 33 weeks, are doing well.
The twins weigh less than four pounds and use breathing machines as needed, but Dr. Mancuso said everything "looks wonderful" for the sisters.
Sarah said she's stunned by all of the attention the story is receiving.
"I feel like it's just a dream and my friends, we were all talking about it and they were like, 'Oh my Gosh, I saw you on this website or on this TV," Sarah said.
Sarah expects to be discharged from Akron General on Tuesday.
The babies will remain hospitalized for observation for two to four weeks.