This is the photograph a Chorley family never thought they would see.
When Ryan Young was born in January 2007, he weighed just 1lb 14oz after being born 25 weeks into mum Louise Martin’s pregnancy.
He was in an incubator for 98 days and underwent two blood transfusions at the Royal Preston Hospital’s neo-natal unit.
Now, four years on, the youngster who supports Manchester United is preparing to take his first trip to St James School on Devonport Way next week.
Proud mum Louise said: “He is doing really well and had to go for regular check-ups every month because he was premature.
“He is very clever for his age and can do all big words and also count up to 20.
“It is so amazing when I look back because I was so worried about his development and whether he would be able to read and write.
“When I look back I think how lucky we are still to have him.
“We have bought all of his uniform, including a PE and RE bag.
“He has really come on and he is a normal four-year-old you would not think what he has been through.”
Louise has recalled the nightmare of performing a daily vigil at Ryan’s bedside in hospital.
She said: “As a mother it was nerve-wracking watching him in the incubator and not being able to cuddle or hold him.
“He has really grown up and is so well-behaved being able to dress himself and do his own shoes.”
Apart the family’s excitement over the four-year-old going to school, their is double joy as Louise is expecting another boy in four weeks’ time.
She said: “I had to get some help from the doctors by taking some tablets from the 25 week mark just so he would stay in there a bit longer.
“Apart from that the pregnancy has gone fine and Ryan is looking forward to having a brother around to play with.
“It has just been such a relief that he has gone almost full term and I just cannot wait to have another person in the family.”
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