The Baby Who Saved His Twin While Still In The Womb

People often talk about the close bond between twins. That bond goes one step further with Marla and Carter.

He saved his sister's life -- all while in the womb.

Their ordeal began when the waters broke around little Marla, at just 18 weeks.

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Mother Nikki Morrissy was told she was likely to go into labour within 72 hours, and that only one percent of babies survive.

"We were absolutely heartbroken. We felt like our world came crumbling down. There was nothing the doctors could do," Nikki said.

"It was just a waiting game to lose both children," her husband Liam said.

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The concern was around Marla's lungs.

"You need plenty of fluid around the baby in order for the lungs to grow," said Dr Srinivas Bolisetty, from The Royal Hospital for Women in Randwick.

And that's when remarkable little Carter saved his sister.

Essentially, he started breathing for her.

"If one twin has absolutely normal fluid, that actually gives you enough space for the other baby to be able to breathe," said Dr Alec Welsh, also from The Royal Hospital for Women.

The Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney specialises in cases like Nikki's, and treats around 700 premature babies a year.

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He did this, until the twins were born eight weeks later, at 28 weeks.

They weighed just one kilogram -- and Marla had a lung infection.

But, they made it. Even doctors are amazed.

"I think it's pretty stunning. The whole co-twin support is incredible," Welsh said.

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The twins are now happy and healthy and seven months old. The pair can't get enough of each other.

"They absolutely idolise each other. The way Carter looks at her I think he will protect her for the rest of his life, like he did in the womb," gushed Nikki.