BABY twins believed to be the smallest to survive in the country after being born at just 23 weeks are now out of hospital and at home in Trowbridge.

Joe and Ashley who are now seven months old are settling into their home in Barons Crescent with parents Talia and Oliver Keates and their four siblings who have said they are “little miracles”.

Both babies each weighed less than 1lb when they born prematurely at Southmead Hospital in Bristol on April 16.

Mr and Mrs Keates were told the chance of the twins surviving was next to nothing after her waters broke at just 20 weeks.

Mrs Keates said: “It was devastating when I realised my waters had broken. You associate that with giving birth and I knew they weren’t ready for that.

“We were advised to prepare for the worst and even consider terminating the pregnancy, but I wanted to carry on.

“I was crossing off the days in a diary in the hope of getting to 24 weeks before giving birth, but I didn’t make it.

“We were told that the babies may have died in the womb as they were without the waters for a while, so when I went into labour I didn’t know what to expect.

“When I gave birth to them and heard them cry it was such a relief, although I knew there was a long and hard journey ahead.”

Doctors told the couple the first 72 hours were critical, and the twins spent more than 100 days in intensive care before returning home at the end of August, although they still have regular appointments.

Mrs Keates, who is nurse added: “We had to prepare for the worst and at one point we were told Joe was on 100 per cent oxygen, so we thought that was it, but they are both little warriors.

“The staff at the hospital were just amazing and so supportive.”

Joe and Ashley currently need to be provided with oxygen through cylinders at home 24 hours a day as they have chronic lung disease, but doctors have said they may be able to breathe on their own by the spring.

Brain scans form the hospital revealed no long-lasting damage and both boys are expected to live long and healthy lives.

Mrs Keates added: “Both boys are happy and smiley and we just want to live as normal a family life as we can.”

Mr and Mrs Keates have set up an Instagram page for people to follow Joe and Ashley’s journey, search for @miracletwinboys