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Dying twin holds sister’s hand in utero

HUTCHINSON, KS (CNN) – An expectant mom in Kansas got heartbreaking news from doctors. She was told one of her unborn twins will not survive. But, her family will hold onto a sonogram picture that warmed everyone’s heart.

Ian and Brittani McIntire didn’t plan on having any more kids – much less, twins.

“We went in for our six week sonogram and they just said there’s one heartbeat and here’s another,” Brittani recalled.

From shock, to excitement, to hearing news no parent expects. With a hole in his heart and an abnormal brain, one baby wasn’t growing like he should.

“He’s only weighing nine ounces and his sister is over two pounds,” Brittani said. “His only chance of survival would be heart surgery but they wouldn’t do heart surgery because of his brain”

At each appointment, it’s been more bad news. Until Tuesday, when the doctor’s captured something.

“We didn’t really see much,” Brittani said. “She said there’s his hand and there’s her hand and it looks like they’re holding hands.”

Baby Mason, on the left, had his tiny hand wrapped around the finger of growing twin sister Madilyn.

“Most twins, when she’s trying to take pictures and stuff, they’re kicking each other and hitting each other and she said with our twins it seems like she was very protective over him,” Brittani said.

Because Mason may never get to know his twin or family, this special moment – siblings bonding before birth – is something the parents say is no coincidence.

“We know we have a piece of them together that will last forever. And it’s special to have,” Ian said.

“It’s just nice with everything going on. I know I’m holding him. I’m carrying him. But I just want to be there for him. And not knowing, and she’s the only one who can actually be there and holding onto him through it, and so it’s comforting to know that if he does pass he won’t be alone.”

Something neither baby has ever been, from the second their hearts began beating.

“We kiss them to go to bed, we sing them lullabies, we pray for them,” their daughter said.

“We just love on them,” Brittani said. “Every moment that we have them.”