Twin girls have been born more than three months apart in different years have been hailed as a “medical sensation”.
In what medics believe is a world first, the twin girls were actually born in different years.
Liana came prematurely into the world on November 17 last year when mum Oxana, from Cologne, Germany, was just 26 weeks pregnant.
On February 22, Oxana finally gave birth to Leonie as well – four days after her due date.
Tiny Liana weighed just 900 grams when she was born prematurely.
A hospital spokeswoman said: “After the birth of the first twin, the cervix closed again and the unborn sister could remain in the womb.”
As contractions ceased, doctors decided that Oxana could carry her second baby girl to term.
Maternity chief Dr Uwe Schellenberger said: “The conditions were very good as well due to the existing second placenta and we wanted to try to let the second child mature as long as possible in the womb.”
Leonie was born a total of 97 days difference with her twin sister Liana and weighed 3.7 kilogrammes (8.1 lbs) at birth.
Dr Schellenberger said: “It's also a rare case for our maternity clinic, but it was not the first time that twins were born on different days at the Holweide hospital. But the time difference of 97 days is unique for us and also special worldwide.”
Local media described the births as a “medical sensation” – and according to the hospital it might well be a world record.
The hospital spokeswoman said: “Such a 'two-time twin birth' is very rare worldwide. According to our own research, twins with a time difference of 87 days were born in Ireland in 2012.”
Liana spent her first weeks after birth in the perinatal care unit of the hospital to gain full strength after her premature birth.
According to the hospital, the twins each weigh around 5.7 kilogrammes (12.5 lbs) and have developed very well.
The spokeswoman said: "The two girls are reunited at their family home and will grow up healthy."
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