Home, sweet home

PUBLISHED: 18:23 31 August 2006 | UPDATED: 11:59 04 May 2010

SAFE AND SOUND: Matthew Rayner and Vicky Cummings with twins Brandon and Leo.
Picture: SUPPLIED

SAFE AND SOUND: Matthew Rayner and Vicky Cummings with twins Brandon and Leo. Picture: SUPPLIED

A LITTLE Downham father whose partner had to be airlifted to Manchester to give birth to the couple s premature twins has spoken about his joy at the children s safe return home. Matthew Rayner and Vicky Cummings had to be rushed to Salford s Hope Hospit

A LITTLE Downham father whose partner had to be airlifted to Manchester to give birth to the couple's premature twins has spoken about his joy at the children's safe return home.

Matthew Rayner and Vicky Cummings had to be rushed to Salford's Hope Hospital in an RAF helicopter when it became clear that the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury Edmunds was not equipped to deal with two premature babies at the same time.

"It was a real shock to be told," Mr Rayner, 18, said.

"We got to the hospital at 7.30am and by nine that morning we were in the sky in a helicopter on our way to Manchester."

The Salford hospital had two neonatal intensive care cots available, and staff took care of babies Brandon and Leo for a month before they were transferred to the West Suffolk.

After the drama, and a bout of chronic lung disease, the boys are now with Miss Cummings at her family home in Diss.

"They are far more settled now and they haven't got people wandering around them all the time - they get to sleep a lot quicker now," Mr Rayner said.

He added that, although the twins are making excellent progress, the couple are only together with the children on Wednesdays and at the weekends at the home Mr Rayner shares with his mother and father.

The situation has saddened the boys' grandmother, Tracy Rayner, who blames the housing situation in East Cambridgeshire.

"They should live together as a family like they want to," she said.

"Matthew's been with the boys from day one but now they'll be

living apart for at least six

months."

She said the district council's points system does not prioritise Matthew because he lives with his parents, and that the likelihood is that the couple will have to look for accommodation in Norfolk.

"All these houses are going up and I don't see why they couldn't set some aside for people like Matt and Vicky," Mrs Rayner said.

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