Seeing the Durrant family in its entirety is something to behold, a family of six that is not only striking but has beaten some pretty impressive odds.
When couple Alison Spooner and Dean Durrant had their first set of twins in 2001 the arrival instantly caught everyone’s attention.
Perhaps the most fantastic thing about life on this planet is the unpredictable nature of things.
Sure, there are times when the unexpected can be upsetting, or even heartbreaking, but there are also plenty of occasions wherein we’re pleasantly surprised by something we thought would never happen.
Alison Spooner and Dean Durrant look like average couples from the outside, but it turns out their genes are special indeed. This is evidenced in the miracle that occurred in not just one set of twins they had, but two …
In 2001, twin sisters Hayleigh and Lauren Durrant, from Hampshire, England, were born with different skin colors. One of the twins was white like their mother, and the other was Black like their father.
When Alison and Dean first discovered they were pregnant with twins, they assumed their babies would take after both of them. When Alison gave birth to Laura and Hayleigh in 2001, however, the parents were met with a surprise.
Laura had inherited her mother’s light skin, blue eyes, and red hair, while her twin sister had much taken after her father.
Of course, Alison and Dean were astounded, as were their families. Yet while the phenomenon is extremely rare, it’s not altogether unheard of.
Growing up wasn’t always easy as their parents had to field questions about how this could have happened and comments of disbelief, and then the girls would face questions from their friends at school.
On the twins’ 18th birthday in 2019, Hayleigh, who has dark skin and hair like her dad Dean, spoke exclusively with The Sun saying they weren’t always accepted.
“Some people can be really rude. They’ll say, ‘You’re lying, you aren’t twins – prove it!’ So we’ll reel off the same address or pull our passports out. It’s nice to see the shock on people’s faces.
“When we went to college it was difficult because there were lots of groups of Asian, white, and black kids. The black group was trying to integrate me and I was like, ‘This is my white twin sister.’ No one could believe it. People look at us like it’s some kind of miracle. I’m still amazed that we are twins.”
Meanwhile, Lauren, who has her mother’s green eyes and fair hair, said, “People just assume we’re best friends rather than sisters, let alone twins.
“I’m happy with that because she is my best friend.”
For a biracial couple expecting twins, there is about a 1 in 500 chance those twins will have different skin colors, according to the BBC.
Fast forward seven years and Alison found herself pregnant again … with another set of twins! As Laura and Hayleigh turned 7, their mom gave birth to another set of twin sisters where the same thing happened, and the family made headlines again.
This time around, Alison was induced at 37 weeks when doctors found that her babies were in the breech position. Immediately after the delivery, the babies were rushed to intensive care due to problems with their breathing, meaning Alison and Dean didn’t get the chance to see them properly.
When they could finally look upon their new babies, though, they realized that they’d defied yet more odds … they had another set of miracle biracial twins!
The girls, Leah and Miya, also had different complexions, making them the only family in the world with two sets of biracial twins. The record family soon also found their way to the Guinness World Records.
Dr. Sarah Jarvis from the Royal College of General Practitioners told CBS News, that even non-identical twins aren’t that common.
“To have two eggs fertilized and come out different colors less common so to have it happen twice must be one in millions,” she added.
“I’m almost blown away as the rest of them, there’s no easy way to explain it all,” proud dad Dean told CBS News. “I’m still in shock myself even though the first ones were 7 years ago, it’s amazing.”
Leah and Miya are helped by their two older sisters who have been able to guide them through the challenges.
“The younger ones idolize the older ones and are always copying them. It’s like having two Mini-Mes,” said their father.
“They are best friends and close in every way, apart from looking different. It took me some years to understand the science of how they could appear so different,” their mom added.
Leah shared: “Lauren and Hayleigh are my heroes. I like my older sisters. We want to be like them when we are grown-up.”
The girls realize they are lucky to have each other and, despite their physical differences, said that they are similar in many ways.