An Essex mother close to death with a twin ectopic pregnancy has praised the surgeons who performed a ground breaking operation to save her life.
Stephanie Hayward, 37, from Colchester, was given keyhole surgery at Colchester General Hospital to remove the embryos trapped in her fallopian tubes.
The operation was further complicated by the fact that the tube was attached to the bowel and was close to rupture.
Ms Hayward said: "I can't thank the doctors enough, they were fantastic."
Obstetrics and gynaecology consultant Barry Whitlow, who led the operation, said: "This was the first twin ectopic pregnancy in the same tube I have ever seen in 14 years as a doctor and I will probably never see one again.
"The fact the tube was attached to the bowel made this a very, very rare and difficult situation.
"The fact we used keyhole surgery in such circumstances, as the patient did not want to be cut open, makes this surgery almost unique.
"It was a complicated procedure, which I had never performed before, and I needed specialist support from two other surgeons.
Ms Hayward, an emergency services administrator at the hospital, said her ordeal began when she started getting stomach pains and went to hospital for blood tests.
Following a scan on 4 August, she was taken straight to theatre where she underwent the two-hour operation.
"I know how serious the situation was as the doctors kept saying they have never seen anything like this before, she said.
"The surgeons went beyond the call of duty, as they treated me straight away, long after their shifts had finished and also carried out keyhole surgery because I didn't want to be cut open."