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Twins set off on separate ways

PUBLISHED: 17:54 03 July 2008 | UPDATED: 11:20 03 July 2010

NOW AND THEN: Gayle and Dianne Smith have just celebrated their 18th birthdays having survived being born three weeks early back in 1990

NOW AND THEN: Gayle and Dianne Smith have just celebrated their 18th birthdays having survived being born three weeks early back in 1990

Alan Thompson

IDENTICAL twins Gayle and Dianne Smith are preparing to go their separate ways for the first time since they lay in separate incubators fighting for life 18 years ago.

Alan Thompson

IDENTICAL twins Gayle and Dianne Smith are preparing to go their separate ways for the first time since they lay in separate incubators fighting for life 18 years ago.

The Bradwell teenagers marked their milestone birthday with a party - adding another set of pictures to a family album brimming with frilly dresses - but starting with little scraps in hospital special care, born eight weeks too soon and their tiny lives hanging by the thinnest of threads.

But now they are on the brink of taking different career paths as a doctor and a vet - modern technology again coming to their rescue, with texting and mobile phones.

Their mother June, 45, of Tern Gardens, who is also an identical twin, recalls the event as though it was yesterday as she says it is something that she is unlikely to forget.

She said: “They were born just two minutes apart with Dianne first at 4lb 2oz and then Gayle at 3lb at the James Paget Hospital. It appears the Gayle had kicked the waters away and so they had to be born at that time. I had to have them by caesarean section and I had what they described as a spinal block. I refused to be put under.”

“The doctor told me that as the twins were so small it would be touch and go as to whether they would survive.” She said her and husband Michael were on tenterhooks for more than three weeks.

She said: “They were put in separate incubators and Dianne had a rash. Funnily enough Gayle came out in sympathy with one spot.”

When the twins came home the midwife and nurse paid regular visits to keep an extra watchful eye on the situation but happily the twins gained in weight in the first six months.

The couple had another child, a son, two years later and June says there is a special bond between the girls and their younger brother.

Gayle and Dianne celebrated their birthday with what their mum described as a noisy but fun evening at the Anson Arms in Southtown.

They both have summer jobs on the checkouts in B & Q and are shortly going on holiday together to Belek in Turkey with friends.

Gayle said: “We have always done things together and we seem to know what the other is thinking.”

Dianne added: “Even if we go shopping separately, we'll inevitably end up buying the same designer dress. Our tastes in music are similar as well.”

Gayle nodded: “We both like the same fashion and music and where that is concerned we don't have specific favourite, it's more like anything, providing it's good.”

June is very proud of the twins as they both worked hard at school, Gayle is continuing her studies at East Norfolk Sixth Form College and hopes to become a doctor. Dianne is shortly to leave for Middlesex University in Hendon and wants to become a veterinary surgeon.

June said: “I don't know what they are going to do without each other as this will be the longest period they have spent apart.”

And both girls said in not unexpected unison: “We will be phoning and texting frequently to stay in touch.”

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