Copy-Dying twin holds sister's hand in utero

HUTCHINSON, KS (KWCH/CNN) - An expectant mom got heartbreaking news from doctors - one of her unborn twins will not survive.

But the family will hold on to a sonogram picture taken Tuesday that warmed everyone's heart. It appeared to show the two holding hands.

"We didn't really see much; (the doctor) said, 'there's his hand and there's her hand, and it looks like they're holding hands,'" Brittani McIntire said.

Ian and Brittani McIntire didn't plan on having any more kids, much less twins.

"We went in for our six-week sonogram, and they just said, 'There's one heartbeat and here's another,'" the expectant mother said.

They went from shock to excitement to hearing news no parent wants to hear. With a hole in his heart and an abnormal brain, one baby wasn't growing like he should.

"His only chance of survival would be heart surgery, but they wouldn't do heart surgery on him because of his brain," Brittani McIntire said.

The doctors captured the image of Baby Mason, on the left, with his tiny hand wrapped around the finger of his growing twin sister, Madilyn.

"Most twins, when she's trying to take pictures and stuff, they're kicking each other and hitting each other, and she said with our twins it seems like she was very protective over him," Brittani McIntire said.

Mason may never get to know his twin or family. The parents said they believe this special moment was no coincidence.

"We know we have a piece of them together that will last forever, and it's special to have," Ian McIntire said.

Brittani McIntire said she found comfort in knowing if Mason does pass, he won't be alone.

"We kiss them to go to bed, we sing them lullabies, we pray for them," said the McIntires' daughter.

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