Twin doctors shine a light on charity research programmes

Twin doctors are joining the charity Twins Trust on a 10km walk on August 8 to raise money for TTTS and nine other pieces of life-saving research.

Dr Chandranath with his family, wife Emma and children Alfie and Isaac.
Dr Chandranath with his family, wife Emma and children Alfie and Isaac.

Dr Donald Chandranath, a speciality doctor in Obstetrics and Gynaecology who specialises in looking after multiple pregnancies at Antrim Hospital, is taking part with his psychiatrist twin brother Desmond when they see each other for the first time since lockdown.

“I saw the date of the event and realised I would be seeing Desmond and his family in Yorkshire around that time, so why not give it a go?” said Dr Chandranath, who will be walking with his children Alfie, 11 and Isaac, eight.

“When I mentioned it to Desmond, he too was up for the challenge and will be walking with his wife Sarah who is a GP, and my nieces Leila and Phoebe, in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.”

Unfortunately, Emma, Donald’s wife, who is also a doctor, will not be able to take part as she is just about to start a new role in the NHS.

Donald worked consistently in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Unit at Antrim Area Hospital during the peak of Covid-19, whilst his wife Emma, who specialises in gastroenterology, was called to work on the frontline helping Covid-19 patients.

“When Emma was called to work with Covid patients we took the decision to send the children to live with Emma’s parents for nine weeks.

“We were both working very long hours and there wasn’t any extra childcare. It was a very difficult decision but the safest thing to do.”

Donald says he shares a special bond with his twin brother Desmond – but remarked that their birth was a lot different to the twins he delivers now.

“My mother went into labour in India 42 years ago and gave birth to Desmond. Whilst waiting for the placenta she felt she needed to push again, and it turns out I was in there waiting to come out. Two for the price of one! It was a shock but not necessarily uncommon back then. She coped remarkably well because there were so many family members around to help her and a supportive husband.

“Being a twin I enjoy specialising in multiple births and over the years I have witnessed the impact a diagnosis of TTTS can have on families and the journey through pregnancy that parents face.

“I have enjoyed learning more from Professor Asma Khalil at St George’s Hospital where the new centre is based and have taken part in webinars and study days.

“Therefore I am delighted that Desmond and I can do this walk together with our families to help raise awareness and much-needed funds to allow research to take place at the Twins Trust Centre for Research and Clinical Excellence.”

Twins Trust operates throughout Northern Ireland with a health visiting service and twins clubs.


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