The Victorian Fetal Therapy Service
Megan's twins were diagnosed at 21 weeks with a rare condition known as twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome is a condition where the blood from one twin (the donor) is transfused into the other twin (the recipient) via blood vessels in their common placenta. The condition occurs in 15 per cent of identical twins that share a placenta, which equates to about 42 Victorian pregnancies every year. If not corrected, the condition kills about 90 per cent of affected unborn twins.
On September 11, 2006, Dr Steve Cole from the Royal Women's Hospital and Dr Andrew Daley from Monash Medical Centre performed in-utero laser surgery on Megan's twins to correct the condition. The surgery was one of the first conducted by the newly established Victorian Fetal Therapy Service, established with a donation of $700,000 from The Pratt Foundation with further funding from the Victorian Government. The service is a collaboration between Victoria’s three tertiary-level maternity hospitals—the Royal Women’s Hospital, Monash Medical Centre and Mercy Hospital for Women.
Megan gave birth to Flynn and Jaxan on 5 December 2006 and, after four days in the Women's newborn special care unit, they were able to return home to Ballarat.
The Fetal Therapy Service has continued to provide this vital surgery for mothers and their babies, and has trained a new generation of surgeons and gynaecologists to manage twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. In 2014 The Pratt Foundation provided a new three year grant of $700,000 to extend the Service's research and clinical services.