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'Special' twins in US are now breathing on own

By AP Reporters

Twin girls who were born in the US holding hands but suffering from a rare condition are now breathing on their own.

Mother Sarah Thistlethwaite said babies Jillian and Jenna were removed from ventilators after they were able to breathe comfortably.

"It's just hard to put into words how amazing it feels to know the girls are OK," she said.

The identical twin girls shared the same amniotic sac and placenta. Such births are called monoamniotic, and doctors say they occur in about one of every 10,000 pregnancies.

They were born in Ohio on Friday, grasping each other's hands when doctors lifted them up for their parents to see after delivery.

Mrs Thistlethwaite (32) said: "They're already best friends. I can't believe they were holding hands. That's amazing."

Dr Melissa Mancuso helped deliver the twins, one of several amniotic pairs she has seen in 11 years.

She said such twins were at risk during pregnancy of entanglement of umbilical cords, which can cause death.

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