A pair of South Tyneside sisters who shared a labour of love after giving birth on the same day are celebrating their beloved daughters’ coming of age today.
Sharon Yorston and sibling Susan Halcrow’s due dates were not even in the same year – but they welcomed their little bundles of joy Kiera and Summer just two hours apart at South Tyneside Hospital, on January 7, 1998.
The delighted duo ended up with beds side-by-side on the same ward – and the families remain as close as ever 18 years on.
The close-knit sisters and cousins Kiera Yorston and Summer Gatens were in party mood as they marked their milestone birthdays – and they were all pleased to spread the happiness around once again.
Mrs Yorston had only been in the hospital for a matter of minutes to see Susan become a proud mum for the third time, when her labour pains began.
Mrs Yorston, 43, who also has an older daughter, Kelsey, 22, said: “I had been due to give birth on New Year’s Eve, with my sister’s due date three weeks later.
“But my sister went into labour early and I was late.
“I had gone to hospital to see her new baby Summer, and ended up going into labour myself and gave birth two hours later.
“We were in the same hospital on the same ward, with our beds side-by-side.
“All the midwives said they had never heard of two sisters giving birth on the same day.”
Kiera and Summer both attended Harton Junior School and are still busy studying, with Kiera at South Tyneside College and Summer taking lessons at Gateshead College.
Mrs Yorston added: “The two girls both grew up close together and are very close.”
Mrs Yorston, from Cragside, South Shields, and Susan, 41, from Prince Edward Road in the town, were centre of attention on the hospital wards, as everyone from nurses and midwives, to kitchen and cleaning staff, gathered to catch a glimpse of the inseparable siblings and the two cute cousins.
The family were urged to share their story with the Gazette after their double delight in 1998 – but decided now was as good a time as many to speak of their joy as the two girls turn 18.
Mrs Yorston said: “Well, it took us 18 years to contact the Gazette, but I think an 18th birthday is pretty special.”