A MUM was forced to carry a dead child in her womb for two months - in order to save his twin.
Vicky Campbell, 27, suffered from rare twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome which caused one of her unborn babies to take in too many nutrients in the womb - starving his brother.
Doctors warned both babies could die - with bigger baby Bailey growing too fast and tiny Connor being too small and weak.
They performed two risky operations to separate the twins, which resulted in Bailey's death at 22 weeks.
Little Connor immediately began gaining strength and was born by Caesarean section at 27 weeks - the death of his bigger brother having saved his life.
However, Vicky had to carry both babies to full term and went through the harrowing experience of giving birth to one live and one dead baby.
But the community carer - who is from Glasgow but now lives in Helston, Cornwall - said she is proud that Bailey made the ultimate sacrifice for his brother.
"Bailey died to save his brother," she said. "As soon as he passed away, Connor was able to develop and grow strong, he finally had the blood and nutrients to survive.
"He is our little miracle. I will never let him forget how his big brother saved his life and is now his angel."
Vicky and husband Aiden Campbell, 26, an aircraft mechanic in the Royal Navy, were thrilled when she became pregnant in July last year.
But she began to bleed in September and was rushed to an emergency scan at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske, Cornwall - which showed she was expecting identical twins.
A second routine scan two weeks later, on September 26, revealed the devastating news that she had twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.
The condition, affecting one in 1,300 twin pregnancies, is a disease of the placenta where one twin takes in too many nutrients by receiving most of the blood supply from the placenta - starving the other.
Vicky, who also has a son Sonni, six, added: "We were given three options. The first was to terminate both twins, which we said 'no' straight away to.
"We were then offered laser surgery, which had a 40 per cent chance one would survive, 30 per cent chance that both would and a 30 per cent chance that both would die.
"The third option was to leave it but there was an 85 per cent chance both would die and I would miscarry. We chose to take the laser option."
Incredibly, both babies survived the first procedure, in which doctors inserted a metal rod into Vicky's womb and used lasers to cut blood vessels between the twins.