When strangers meet Amanda Whittingham's daughters, they think they must be years apart in age.
Yet although Jessica is almost a head taller than her sister Emily, the girls are twins.
When they were born in October 2014, Emily had a heart condition. Doctors didn't even think she would survive the birth, telling her mother to 'just hold her and let her go'.
But Emily made a good recovery. And while she may be four inches shorter than her sister, the twins have an incredibly strong bond.
When Amanda Whittingham's daughters were born in October 2014, doctors didnt't hink Emily would survive. Now, three years later, she has an incredibly strong bond with her twin, Jessica.
Mrs Whittingham, who lives with husband Stuart, 34, an IT engineer, in Coalville, Leicestershire, said her daughters are growing into strong girls
Mrs Whittingham, who lives with husband Stuart, 34, an IT engineer, in Coalville, Leicestershire, said: 'We were devastated when we were told that Emily may not survive the birth.
'To think that we were going to have one daughter and lose the other was heartbreaking.'
The couple had been thrilled when Mrs Whittingham became pregnant following IVF treatment after years of trying to conceive.
She said: 'When we went for the scan and it showed two heartbeats we were both over the moon.'
All went smoothly until she was 20 weeks' pregnant when doctors carried out a scan and thought there was something seriously wrong with one of the girls' hearts.
The couple had been thrilled when Mrs Whittingham became pregnant following IVF treatment after years of trying to conceive
The twins were delivered by caesarean section, Jessica weighing 5lb 10oz and Emily (pictured) 4lb 4oz
Mrs Whittingham said: 'The doctors thought Emily had a serious heart condition and they told us she may not survive the birth. We had been so happy, it was such a shock to be told something like this.
'And when they told us that it would be likely she would slip away after the birth, it was just heartbreaking.
'For the rest of the pregnancy I couldn't enjoy it, we were so worried about Emily and what the future was going to be. I refused even to buy a cot for the nursery as we just didn't know what was going to happen.'
The twins were delivered by caesarean section, Jessica weighing 5lb 10oz and Emily 4lb 4oz.
Emily had an operation to repair a hole in her heart caused by the condition when she was six months old and since then has gone from strength to strength
Mrs Whittingham said: 'We were so worried when they were delivered. But they were taken away to be checked, and they both seemed all right, which was such a relief.'
Doctors discovered that Emily's condition – known as Tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart condition that causes defects with major heart valves and the heart chambers – was a lot less serious than they had anticipated.
Mrs Whittingham said: 'We were so relieved. She didn't have to have any initial treatment and we were allowed to take her home with her sister.'
Emily had an operation to repair a hole in her heart caused by the condition when she was six months old and since then has gone from strength to strength.
Mrs Whittingham added: 'People can't believe they are twins, they think that Emily is Jessica's much younger sister. She keeps up with her and they love playing together, so the height difference never bothers them.'
Sources : Dailymail
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