Miracle Irish kids named ‘most premature triplets’ in Guinness Book of Records

NewsBy Lynne Kelleher
The O'Rourke triplets are record breakers
The O'Rourke triplets are record breakers

Miracle Irish siblings – Lucy, Ethan and Matt O’Rourke – have made a little bit of history by being officially named as the most premature triplets on the planet by the Guinness Book of World Records.

The two-year-old toddlers from Clashmore in Waterford have been written into the record books as the tiniest triplets in the world after arriving an incredible 113 days early.

They made their traumatic arrival into the world on Christmas Day in 2012 when their mother Pamela was just 23 weeks pregnant, all just weighing over one pound.

Their proud dad Pa O’Rourke said the record marks their amazing fight for survival against all the odds.

He said: “It’s something to show them when they grow up. This certificate will show them how young they were.

 “After they were born I was wondering what triplets were the most premature and I couldn’t find any triplets who were born under 113 days. It was then I thought it must be a record. They turned two on Christmas Day, but really they shouldn’t be two until April 17.”

The Irish triplets all weighed just over one pound when they arrived at 6pm on December 25 in 2012 and have amazed medics by showing little long-term effects of their premature entry into the world at Cork University Hospital.

“We were told from day one in the neo-natal ward they didn’t know how it would pan out,” said Pa. “I’ve seen children less premature with serious problems. There are no real major problems.

“They were telling us to expect the worst. The doctors would probably find it hard to believe to look at them now.

“Even now I look at photographs of them and I wonder how they came on so well. Lucy is a mother hen and Matt is stuck in everything and loves phones and remote controls. Ethan is the most laid-back. Being born on Christmas Day ties it all in with them being miracles.”

When they were born their little hands could fit through a wedding ring, their lungs were barely formed and all three of them were ventilated.

Their father said he and his partner Pamela feel blessed their children have grown into three boisterous toddlers as all the odds were stacked against them.

“We’re waiting for head operations for the two boys. They are only cosmetic, but we want to get them out of their way when they are young. Matt has a bit of a heart murmur so he needs to get a duct closed, but it’s not a major operation.

 “They were one pound nine ounces, one pound and four ounces and one pound and two ounces. My whole hand covered them when they were born.”

The three babies all battled through chronic lung disease and were resuscitated on a number of occasions by the neo-natal staff at Cork University Hospital.

But the toddlers are now thriving at home with their parents since arriving home from their 212-day hospital stay at the start of their lives.

And their father said he couldn’t be happier with their ready-made family.

“There will be no going again. I read somewhere there would be a 75 per cent chance of multiples again if we did go again. We would need a minibus!” he said laughing. “It’s a ready-made family – two boys and a girl.”

A spokesperson for the Guinness Book of World Records confirmed the Irish triplets had made history.

He said: “This record has now been confirmed and the most premature triplets are Ethan, Matt and Lucy O’Rourke (all Ireland), who were born 113 days premature.”