A teenager who was given a ONE PER CENT chance of survival after being born with a rare muscle wasting disease has beaten the odds again – to attend his school prom.
Battling Ross Anderson, 15, was born 12 weeks premature and was diagnosed with myotonic dystrophy.
The rare muscle wasting disease affects just one in 8,000 people worldwide and sufferers have a limited life expectancy depending on the severity of their condition.
Ross’ mum Mandy, 52, was told to expect a third miscarriage when she was pregnant with Ross but he was born on August 11, 2001.
When he was born, Ross was only 2lb 10oz and was so small he fitted in the palm of Mandy’s hand and the only clothes which fitted him were doll’s outfits.
Despite his poor chances of survival, Mandy and her security guard husband Carl, 47, were able to take their son home after he spent three months in hospital.
And last Friday, Ross – dubbed “miracle boy” by his proud family – marked a major milestone when he attended his school prom which few believed he would live to see.
Ross, who attends Tudor Grange Academy in Worcester went to the event at the Chateau Impney hotel in Droitwich, Worcs.
Incredibly, he was able to attend despite suffering a stroke in March when he pulse shot up to 180 beats a minute.
Ross, who wore a three piece suit and walked with the aid of a cane at the event, said: “It was a very special night.
“There were times over the last year I didn’t think I’d be well enough but it’s kept me going. I was determined to be there and loved every minute.”
Proud mum Mandy, of Worcester, said: “To see Ross now is amazing. He has come so far.
“The doctor gave him a one per cent chance of survival but he made it. He’s our miracle boy.
“He’s come through so much, and still is fighting to this day. In March he suffered a serious complication of his condition.
“His heartbeat was 180 beats per minute. They gave him an electric shock to put it back to normal. If they hadn’t done that, he probably would have had a heart attack.
“After that he went to the ward and his speech was slurred.
“It was confirmed he had a stroke. He didn’t know who his dad was. He’s alright now though and he remembers his dad again.
“An MRI scan showed he had previous strokes. The nurses and doctors said he’s such a fighter.”
Mandy, a cleaner, began suffering complications with Ross in the early stages of her pregnancy with Ross.
She said: “The doctor said she had been doing the job for 25 years and she had never seen such little amniotic fluid.
“She said that he had one per cent chance of surviving.
“Although I didn’t go into labour after 21 weeks, Ross was born at 28 weeks.
“My waters broke when I was at Worcester Races, jumping up and down because my horse ‘Lucky Jim’ had won.
“It was pandemonium then because I was only 28 weeks pregnant but paramedics got there and rushed to Ronkswood Hospital in Worcester.
“They transferred me to Birmingham City Hospital on August 10 and when I was there they gave me an injection to stop me going into labour.
“It didn’t work and I gave birth at 10.35am on the Saturday morning.
“After I had Ross there were eight people coming into the room and they said to kiss Ross, so I did, and then they took him away and I didn’t see him for around eight hours.
“However my husband, Carl, was allowed to see him just a few hours after.
“Ross was in intensive care, like they do with any premature baby.
“I eventually saw him and we just couldn’t believe how tiny he was and I actually put my hand inside the incubator and my hand was basically the same size.
“He was 2lb 10oz and he was just 40cm long.
“The doctors said the first 48 hours were the critical time, if he got through that then it would be easier.
“He had difficulty breathing so he was being helped to breathe.
“You had to feed him through a little tube.
“He occasionally forgot to breathe because he was so tiny, which was very alarming for me and Carl but you put your hand on his chest or leg and it was only a brief moment that he stopped breathing.
“He spent nine to ten weeks in hospital after he was born, seven in Birmingham City Hospital and three weeks in Ronkswood.
“I never left his side, not once.
“He was an absolutely beautiful baby and one of the proudest moments for me was when they brought group of mums round and asked me to hold Ross up and show him to them through the glass.
“The mums were saying ‘he’s lovely, look at him through the glass’.
“I have been showing him off to people ever since to be honest.
“When we got home, Carl was constantly with the camcorder.
“We had to buy his clothes from a shop called Russell and Dolls, which sold clothes for dolls, that’s how small he was.
“They did little boy doll outfits as well.
“Ross was one of the younger children in the year so he sometimes found it difficult to keep up.
“He’s always been a very social-minded little boy, always been a friendly, kind lad.
“He then went to Tudor Grange Academy but he left 12 months ago because he was struggling with his health.
“He goes to the MET now which is the Medical Education Team.
“He never moans and he never complains but his health forced him to have quite a bit of time off because of stomach pains.
“But he has been a kind, caring and polite boy right from day one.
“It’s his 16th birthday soon and we will probably have to take out a second mortgage because of the number of things we have promised him.
“He’s the best thing that has ever happened to Carl and I and we are so proud of him and everything he does.”
Ross is now studying for his GCSEs and hopes to fulfil his childhood dream of becoming a games designer.