Miracle baby Sam Hodgson is celebrating a milestone birthday his parents thought he would never see.
When he was born 14 weeks early, weighing just 1lb 15oz, doctors feared he may not survive.
Sam, of Medway Close, Lostock Hall, spent the first four months of his life in hospital and underwent a heart operation when he was just weeks old. But today he is 18.
Mum Sandra, 51, who works for HMRC said: “We never thought we would get there early on. When you look back you don’t realise what you have been through. He was in hospital from January 7 – he should’ve been born on April 17.
“When he was born it was 50/50, they didn’t know which way he was going to go. As you get older you put it to the back of your mind but it was a living nightmare.”
“As well as a heart operation Sam also had to two hernia operations.
“He kept stopping breathing. That’s when they told us it was time to get a priest in.”
When Sam went home in April 1996 he got chicken pox, then an infection and then pneumonia – but once again he pulled through.
Sam went on to attend Lostock Hall Juniors and then Lostock Hall High School.
Dad Martin, 51, a technical services manager for Lancashire Fire and Rescue, added: “At the time when it was all happening it was probably the last thing we were thinking of. I am proud of how he has turned out. He is a good lad.”
Sam, who works for Lancashire County Council as an apprentice in civil engineering, is planning to mark another milestone – having his first pint. He said: “I’ve said to my Grandad Norman since I was 13 that I would go for my first pint with him.”