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Joy as twins kept apart by severe illness reunite to celebrate their third birthday

PUBLISHED: 10:58 04 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:58 04 March 2018

Cohen and Ethan Messenger celebrate their third birthday, Photo: Aimee Messenger.

Cohen and Ethan Messenger celebrate their third birthday, Photo: Aimee Messenger.

Archant

A pair of twins who have been kept apart for months on end due to severe illness were able to celebrate their third birthday at home together.

Cohen and Ethan enjoy birthday cake with parents Aimee and Kirstie. Photo: Aimee Messenger. Cohen and Ethan enjoy birthday cake with parents Aimee and Kirstie. Photo: Aimee Messenger.

Cohen and Ethan Messenger, from Lowestoft, felt the full strength of community support as a £400 donation from a total stranger helped provide presents which will help them throughout their lives.

The twins were born 15 weeks premature and have battled constant health issues.

Since October the boys have only been able to see each other sporadically as Ethan has been confined to a bed at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The youngster has been left unable to eat and walk after a series of intestinal problems resulted in the removal of his large intestine and left only 70cm of his small intestine.

The family during Cohen's Wish for Wheels campaign last year. Picture: Nick Butcher The family during Cohen's Wish for Wheels campaign last year. Picture: Nick Butcher

However, last week he was able to return home for a few hours to be with his brother Cohen, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

Their mother Aimee Messenger said: “We were able to buy a large sensory wall and lights which will develop Cohen’s cognitive skills and help him relax.”

Meanwhile Ethan, who is “Peppa Pig mad”, received a bundle of gifts related to the cartoon character.

The gifts were made possible thanks to a generous donation from fundraiser Zoiyar Cole.

Mrs Messenger described the kind-hearted stranger simply as “lovely”.

She said: “I cried down the phone to her when she told me.

“I’ve got no words really - £400 is a massive amount of money. She deserves a medal for everything she does.”

Mrs Cole, along with her friend Janet Ellis, have been fundraising for good causes in the area since 1999 in memory of her son Paul, who died from liver cancer aged just 35.

Mrs Cole said: “I really don’t mind what the money has gone towards as long as it puts a smile on their little faces.

“We always want to help and give to local people.”

Last year the Lowestoft community came together and raised funds for a specialised wheelchair for Cohen, which vastly improved his quality of life.

Anyone who would like to help support the brave twins can make a donation at www.gofundme.com/IfAnyoneCanEthanCan

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