Published by BBC NEWS - 22nd April 2022

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Two seven-year-old twins have finally emerged from Covid lockdown to be reunited with family they have not seen in more than two years.

Brother and sister Orin and Olivia Arthur have Pompe disease, which affects organs such as the heart and lungs.

They have been shielding with their parents at their home in Tain, Easter Ross since early 2020.

But now they can finally leave home after receiving two vaccinations.

They have travelled to Ireland to see their grandmother and other members of their dad Stephen’s family, and they have also been able to properly meet up with their grandparents and relatives in Scotland.

A trip to London for a West End musical performance of Frozen and a visit to Legoland are also planned.

Mum Lyndsay told BBC Scotland’s The Nine the family hoped to do as much as possible. She said they could never be sure when one of the children might take unwell.

She said: “We have been stuck for two years and we are not going to waste a second of this.

“We are going to do what we can and as much as we can in the time we’ve got to do it.”

Olivia, who can communicate using voice software on a tablet device, said she was excited to be able to see her grannies again.

The twins’ rare condition means they require specialist care. Even a common cold can lead to them having to spend time in intensive care in hospital.

The family has been shielding since the appearance of Covid in the UK more than two years ago.

Orin and Olivia require weekly medical treatment and hospital staff provided this care in the Arthurs’ garden or through an open window of the family home.

Arthur family

Lyndsay said in some ways the last two and half years had been amazing in terms of the time the family had been able to spend together.

She added: “But we are used to being on our travels, to being out and about and we are not used to being still.

“It was hard not to be around people and we just love to be in the midst of things.”

‘Normal life’

Stephen said they appreciated Covid remained a high risk and would continue to take precautions.

He said: “The general consensus amongst ourselves and the medical teams was until they had been vaccinated there was no way of knowing that they could be safe.

“We shielded for the protection of the children. Now that they have been vaccinated it’s time for a normal life.

“We’ve reached a point where you have to take a certain amount of risk and just carry on with life in the safest way possible.”

Orin and Olivia got their first dose of Pfizer vaccine in December.

The Arthurs believe the twins were the first under 12s in Scotland, and possibly the UK, to be vaccinated.

They have praised NHS Highland and Public Health Scotland for getting the vaccinations to them.




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