EVERY day doting dad Andy Wroe returns from work to two beaming faces at the window of his Crawford Village home.
His two young sons Oliver and Finley have had a day of the usual fun, tantrums and mischief every two-year-old gets up to.
Both high-five their dad as he walks in and later, when the boys are tucked up in bed, Andy and wife Amanda can think of how blessed their young family has been.
A few years previous, the couple were told their twins faced a one in three chance they would both not survive because of a rare condition; twin-to-twin syndrome (TTTS).
Inside Amanda’s womb, Oliver and Finley shared the same blood supply and placenta and only pioneering surgery could rectify the problem.
But thankfully, after an agonising wait in the weeks after the procedure - in which a fibre-optic laser was used to sever the shared blood vessels - the two boys were born, fit and healthy.
“If you go back a few years, thinking about what has happened is unbelievable. We feel really blessed, that’s the best way I can come to terms with it,” Andy explains.
“To watch them both grow up and develop, just as it is for any parent, has been amazing. But it’s fantastic they have each other, we see them share this very strong bond and that’s fantastic. They help each other out.”
Andy, a sales manager at a horticultural firm, and Amanda, a former college lecturer, recently returned to Liverpool Women’s Hospital – where they had the operation – as a success story. Andy said: “It was great to go back and see some familiar faces and talk about our story and all that happened.
“We’ll always be so grateful to the staff there and it’s good to think that perhaps we can give hope to other couples who are in a similar position we were in.”
Before the Wroes were given the news that Amanda was pregnant with the twins, the couple had suffered a miscarriage and Andy hopes their experiences can relate with others.
He said: “It was a terrible setback but as I said two years ago, we’re proof that persevering through hardship can have a happy ending.” Andy, who played for St Jude RLFC in between spells of rugby union, is thrilled young Oliver and Finley are following in their dad’s footsteps by attending rugby tots sessions and as dad puts it: “They enjoy a bit of rough and tumble.”
Amanda, who hails from Leigh and is a former Lowton High School student, looks after the boys full-time and also runs a toddlers’ music and rhythm club called Time for Ted at Gioco’s playcentre in Marus Bridge once a week.
Andy said: “We’ve been lucky because we’ve had the support of both of our families and we can never thank them enough. The boys were born eight weeks early and so I was worried they would be smaller than others their age and would be destined to be scrum-halves.
“But we had visit from the nurse recently and both are approaching average size for two-year-olds which is great.
“Because there’s two of them they help each other long and once one started walking the other one thought it’s time I got going as well and they follow each other like that.
“I’m lucky that my job only has me away from home maybe a couple of nights a month and when I come home and see them waiting for me it gives me a really warm feeling.
“We go out the back of our house and play in the fields and come back caked in mud. They love it!”