Local News

Twin Sisters Continue To Defy Odds, Serve As Inspiration To Others

Posted June 3, 2002

— When you first meet London and Jordon Gleason, it is impossible to tell them apart until you notice that one is larger than the other. They have been that way since before they were born.

Early in her pregnancy, Joy Gleason learned the girls had twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. The girls were supposed to share the placenta, but London was getting more than her share of nourishment.

"London had more fluid around her and Jordon had hardly any," Joy said.

Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome happens in about five to 15 percent of identical twins.

"Without doing anything, they told us that the best chance of either one surviving was a five percent chance," Joy said.

Doctors at Duke used amniocentesis to drain the extra fluid off London, but it kept building up and the twins were delivered by Caesarian section at 29 weeks. London weighed 3 pounds 2 ounces. Jordon was a pound and 14 ounces.

Joy's mother, Kathryn, still remembers the first time she saw London.

"She was the tiniest ball of cotton," she said.

Doctors and nurses did not know if they would make it.

"They let us know that we had pretty much two of the sickest children that were in the NICU at that time," Joy said.

But once again, Jordon and London defied the odds. Today, they are two-and-a-half years old and a real handful. Jordon is the tomboy and her sister likes to baby her.

"London is pretty much the mother hen," Gleason said.

The girls have some lingering health concerns. Jordon may need a stent to open a narrowed artery in her heart, but no one expected them to do this well. The family credits the care they received at Duke and their answered prayers.

"It's just really easy to take for granted until you need it and have to have it," Kathryn said.

"I'm so thankful that God is still in the business of doing miracles for people," Joy said.

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