I feared my baby's first winter was going to be her last... Mum dreading cold weather after daughter's trauma.

Byline: Cara Simpson Health reporter cara.simpson@coventrytelegraph.net

MUM Rebecca Tildesley is already dreading the winter.

For it reminds the Coventry mum-of-three of last year when she came dangerously close to losing both her twin daughters to a common but little-known disease. Eleven-month-old twins Abigail and Francesca were born four weeks premature at Coventry's University Hospital, younger siblings for brother Tom, four.

And they were considered in good health for newborn twins, with Abigail weighing in at 4lb 11oz and her sister tipping the scales at 5lb 11oz.

There was only a 24-hour hospital stay before they could take the twins home, and Rebecca and husband ike felt lucky to have -plications that can come There was only a 24-hour hospital stay before they could take the twins home, and Rebecca and husband Mike felt lucky to have escaped many of the complications that can come with a multiple birth.

"We thought we'd got away with everything," said 34-year-old Rebecca, "We thought we'd got away with everything," said 34-year-old Rebecca, of Tile Hill.

But their world began to But their world began to crumble when Francesca fell ill 13 days later.

"I was giving her a -denly went purple and "I was giving her a breastfeed, when she suddenly went purple and stopped breathing," Rebecca recalled.

stopped breathing," Rebecca recalled.

"I shouted out for my husband and he started rubbing her back to try to bring her "I shouted out for my husband and he started rubbing her back to try to bring her round.

"I went into panic, I didn't know what to do."

They rushed tiny Francesca to A&E in Coventry " They rushed tiny Francesca to &E in Coventry where she was diagnosed with bronchiolitis, a lung infection, and stayed in hospital for 12 days.

Because their lungs may not have had time to mature fully in the womb in pregnancy, premature babies are more prone to the condition, which usually occurs during the winter months.

Unfortunately, 12 days after Francesca went home hospital, sister Abigail ended up in hospital with the same illness too.

Francesca then took a turn for the worse four days later and ended up being readmitted to the hospital where her sister was already on a high dependency unit to help her breathe. Her parents were even warned it was not certain that she would survive.

were even warned it was not certain that she would survive.

Rebecca said: "I didn't want to leave Francesca's side because I didn't know how much longer she had. I laid my t-shirt on her so she could smell me."

allowed home with her brother and dad on December 20, while Rebecca spent Christmas Day by Francesca's side at University Hospital.

Abigail was later allowed home with her brother and dad on December 20, while Rebecca spent Christmas Day by Francesca's side at niversity Hospital. Francesca was finally allowed home on December 28.

Rebecca said: "I'm dreading the winter because they're more likely to get a cold and develop bronchiolitis again, and Christmas coming brings it all back, how I missed Abigail's first Christmas.

"But it puts everything into perspective. There won't be a massive amount of presents - it's just going to be great to have everyone together under one roof and without any illness."

| Rebecca and Mike will |run the Great Birmingham Run half marathon tomorrow to raise money for the children's ward at Coventry's University Hospital. To sponsor the couple visit https://www.justgiving.com/Rebecca-Gardner-Tildesley/ A national campaign has also been launched to raise awareness of bronchiolitis. For more information visit http://www.

morethanacold.co.uk/ Tell us your views at: letters@coventrytelegraph.net

'' I was giving Francesca a breastfeed, when she suddenly went purple and stopped breathing... REBECCA TILDESLEY

CAPTION(S):

Francesca in |hospital after suffering bronchiolitis

Mike and |REBECCA TILDESLEY with Francesca, left, son Tom and Abigail

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