Guinness Book of Records twins claim causes cross-border incident

Twin sisters who were born on the same day but in different countries are challenging the Guinness Book of Records over a claim in its latest edition.

Guinness Book of Records twins claim causes cross-border incident
Newspaper cuttings about the twins in 1976

Sisters Heidi Gannon and Jo Baines were both born on September 23, 1976 – but ended up being born in different countries – with Heidi being born at 9am at Welshpool Hospital and Jo following at 10.45am after their mother was transferred to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital due to complications.

Jo Baines and Heidi Gannon – the first twins to be born in different countries?

So it came as a shock last weekend when Heidi's 11-year-old son William was reading the Guinness Book of Records.

He noticed an entry about twins born in 2012 who supposedly held the record for being the first set born in different countries.

According to the book, Dylan and Hannah Fox hold the record for being the first twins born in different countries in 2012, with Dylan born in Northumberland, England, and Hannah born in Scotland requiring more specialist care following complications.

Jo said: "It's certainly surprised us but more due to the fact that Guinness Book of Records haven't done their research as we did appear in some local papers and even some of the nationals, so it's been out there about us.

"It isn't the fact we want the record ourselves, our main concern is that it's not correct."

The twins – who turn 40 later this year – hit headlines in the Shropshire Star at the time.

Despite having a normal pregnancy throughout, their mum Carol Munro didn't know she was having twins.

Jo said: "Mum had no idea she was having twins.

"Heidi was born and then they realised I was on the way.

"Mum was rushed to Shrewsbury due to complications and I ended up spending time in intensive care after a forceps delivery for four days then we both stayed in hospital for another six days after that.

"Mum had a normal pregnancy, she no idea she was having twins.

"She was busy looking after our then three-year-old sister, Bev.

"She went in to labour 10 days early."

Jo was born weighing 6lb 8oz, while Heidi weighed 5lb 4oz.

The twin's unique start in life is something they and their family are proud of, according to Jo.

"It's a funny one, it's something us and our family have always been proud of and have always told people," said Jo. "I'm certainly proud of our start, it's unusual."

Despite being born in England, Jo said that she considers herself to be Welsh.

"I don't consider myself to be English, it just so happens I was born in England," she added.

"I was brought up in Wales and my parents are Welsh, although when the rugby's on I do joke that I support whoever's winning."

The twins have remained close throughout their lives.

They both live in the Red Bank area of Welshpool and both work at Welshpool High School – Jo as a teacher and Heidi as a teaching assistant.

They have now made contact with the Guinness Book of Records for clarity and are waiting to hear back.

Twin siblings' unique start in life is something that interests many, including the record books.

Irish twins Amy and Katie Jones-Elliott entered them in 2012 when they were born almost three months apart.

Eldest twin Amy was born on June 1 when mum Maria went into labour early.

However, after Amy was delivered, Maria's contractions stopped and she remained in hospital under round-the-clock supervision until Katie was induced on August 27 – 87 days later – making medical history.

A spokesman for the Guinness World of Records said: "Guinness World Records is aware of the recent news surrounding twins Heidi Gannon and Jo Baines who, potentially, could be considered as the first set of twins to be born in separate countries.

"We have reached out to our twins consultant who is now looking into this in greater detail. Once research has been concluded, we will be in a position to comment further."

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