Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
April 13, 2023 ·  4 min read

Record-Breaking Twins Born Four Months Early Defy Odds

Scientists have been intrigued by twins for generations. Curious about their DNA, whether they can share thoughts, and whether or not they can feel each other’s pain. Twins are closely bonded and connected, often being built-in best friends. However, pregnancy with twins can sometimes go significantly different than that of a single baby.

Recently, Canadian twins Adiah and Adrial Nadarajah celebrated their first birthdays. Although twins aren’t uncommon, there’s something unusual about these twins. Something that gives their parents extra reason to celebrate their lives. They made history, holding a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most premature twins to have survived to their first birthday. They also hold a record for “lightest twins at birth“, both weighing less than a pound at birth.

Twins Defy the Odds

The babies, from Ajax, Ont. in Canada, were born more than 100 days early at exactly 22 weeks along at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital. Born on March 4, 2022, these miracle twins have completely defied the odds. Although they were born and survived to their first birthday, the twins faced numerous hardships along the way. Mom, Shakina, explained, “there were times when we watched the babies almost die in front of our eyes.” Just days before delivery, Shakina went to a community hospital just outside of Toronto, bleeding and with contractions. She was told there was nothing doctors could do, and that their twin babies were going to die.

However, a miracle occurred, the couple got in touch with friends who connected them to TwentyTwoMatters. The organization offers support and resources to families with premature babies, in most cases causing long-term complications. 22 weeks is the earliest that doctors will willingly deliver a baby prematurely. This is because their chances of surviving are significantly lower at anything before 22 weeks. However, that doesn’t mean they’re out of the clear.

Severe Complications Occur

In fact, after 22 weeks, they still have a less than 10% chance of survival. “At one point we asked, ‘What if the babies are born before midnight?’” Shakina said in an interview. “They said there’s a strict cut-off and we only resuscitate after 22 weeks.” Fortunately, both twins waited until only 2 hours into the following day, just past the cut off, to make their ways into the world. The babies were described as having nearly transparent skin and were immediately put on a ventilator. They suffered from brain hemorrhaging and other major health concerns.

Twins Continue to Prevail

Luckily, the perseverant twins made it to day 160 without any need for technological support. They were free to leave the NICU and head home to experience life with their loving, new, parents. Adrial had more complications than his sister Adiah. He had to have stents put in at the NICU, he’s currently being closely monitored but has been able to be home and will be for the foreseeable future. The baby boy is facing numerous challenges including a hernia. “In general, he has more medical needs, but we see lots of progress every day. Every other appointment we go to, we get good news that something has resolved.” said the proud mom.

Thank you so much for praying for us,” she told guests at the twins’ first birthday party. She shared the joyous occasion with her husband Kevin Nadarajah, 37, and lots of friends and family. “Thank you for loving us, for loving the babies from afar,” she said.

Encouragement From Caretakers

Luzia Leong was the twins’ primary care nurse in the NICU. She explained, “Both parents understood the situation well and were not in denial. It was Kevin and Shakina’s eagerness to overcome any challenges that inspired myself and the whole NICU team to let go of our personal struggles and dedicate our very best.”

The parents were present as the Guinness World Records organization announced the new twins were also new record holders. “We’re amazed that our twins have the record title. But beyond that, I think what we’re really happy about and passionate about is that this is going to help push the dialogue on viability. We do hope this is a record that gets broken.” said their dad, Kevin.

Twins Can Double Complications

According to a report from the Canadian Neonatal Network, 40% of babies born at 22 weeks received active care in the delivery room in 2021. Of those, only around 25% survived. This poses a question about the risks commonly associated with twin pregnancies. For one, when pregnant with twins, women may experience more nausea, or morning sickness. They may also become more bloated or experience more muscle soreness. This is due to an increase of hormones, and although uncomfortable, are there actual health concerns?

Interestingly, the most common risk associated with twins, is premature delivery. One study showed that around 50% of twins were born prematurely, compared to the 10% of single baby deliveries. Other complications may include babies suffering from Hypoxia, Hypoglycemia, Polycythemia, Hyperviscosity or disabilities associated with motor skills and neurological development.

These sweet twins likely have a road of complications ahead but have loving supportive parents to guide and encourage them, every step of the way.


  1. World’s most premature twins celebrate their first birthdays.” The Globe and Mail. Kelly Grant. March 5, 2023