Last leg for the Twinvincibles

Posted on Friday 18th August 2017
Melville-Ross family selfie

The Melville-Ross family.

The Melville-Ross family will complete the final leg of a mission to raise £50,000 for Evelina London this weekend as a thank you for the care given to their disabled twins.

After running a marathon and climbing four mountains, the Melville-Ross family will tackle the Superhero Triathlon on Saturday (19 August) where they will run, cycle and swim around Dorney Lake in Windsor.

Parents Georgie and James Melville-Ross from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire have spent more time at Evelina London than many of the staff. Their 13-year-old twins, Alice and Tommy – dubbed the Twinvincibles – were born at St Thomas’ Hospital four months early, at just 24 weeks.

Both children were critically ill when they were born and were only given a one in five chance of surviving. Alice suffered four cardiac arrests within hours of birth and within days Tommy almost died from a haemorrhage in his lungs. They were cared for in Evelina London’s Neonatal Unit for nine long months before being allowed home.

The twins have severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy with dystonia. Cerebral palsy is caused by a problem in the parts of the brain responsible for controlling muscles – and this affects the whole of their bodies, giving them uncontrolled muscle contractions. They have been supported by Evelina London since the age of two under Dr Jean-Pierre Lin and his team as part of the complex motor disorder service.

Mum Georgie said: “We wanted to say thank you to the incredible people who work so tirelessly to help children like ours. I want to show maximum respect to our twins who I am humbled by every day for all that they go through with their bodies but still manage to laugh and smile.

“We are just an ordinary family but with extraordinary children. Without the help of Dr Lin's team, I'm not sure where we would be now.”

Dad James said: “This fundraising initiative is for those friends at Evelina who have stood by us through thick and thin – the superhero doctors who have saved our twins’ lives on countless occasions, the nurses who have calmed them through the long and painful nights, the physios, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, dietitians, school and play specialists who have put our children back together again after their illnesses. 

“They are the best team at the best hospital in the world.” 

It has been a busy five months for the family:

  • In April, Georgie ran the London Marathon with her sister Edwina
  • In May, the whole family – wheelchairs and all – used a highly sophisticated rope system to share the load and pulled the twins up to the summit of southern Britain's tallest mountain, Pen y Fan
  • In June, James spent a week with his brother Rupert, sister Emma and brother-in-law Krisscaling three mountains in three different countries – Pointe Larchenal (3,613m) in France, Aguille du Tour (3,540m) in Switzerland and Italy’s highest peak (4,063m), Gran Paradiso
  • On Saturday 19 August, the whole family – twins, 6 year old sister Indiaand parents – will be taking part in the Superhero Tri, a special event for disabled superheroes at Dorney Lake.

The Twinvincibles fundraising campaign has also encouraged various friends and family to raise money through bike rides, cake sales, marathons and swims. With £46,000 raised so far the family are just short of their £50,000 target going into the last event.

In November 2016, the Melville-Ross family also officially opened an extension to the Neonatal Unit at a celebratory event and plaque unveiling. The extension means that more sick and premature babies than ever before will receive the round-the-clock critical care that they need.

To support or donate to Evelina London visit the Support Evelina fundraising website or text ‘Evelina’ to 70800 to donate £5.

To donate to the Twinvincibles fundraising campaign, visit their dedicated fundraising page.