A teen given a 0.5% chance of survival after being born in the world’s first successful triplet ectopic pregnancy is looking forward to university life next year.
Ronan Ingram was dubbed a medical marvel by doctors after he born despite growing outside his mother’s womb.
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilised egg implants itself outside the womb in the fallopian tubes.
Jane Ingram made history when she gave birth 18 years ago to triplets Ronan, Olivia and Mary who came into the world at odds of 60 million to one.
Family say that figure has never really ‘sunk in’ and there was more chance of them ‘winning the lottery’.
There have only been a handful of abdominal pregnancies reported worldwide and in 1999 there had never been a recorded case of a successful combined pregnancy.
But miraculously a team of 26 doctors delivered Ronan, now 17, and his two sisters, Olivia and Mary, by caesarean section at King’s College Hospital in 1999.
Family were told Ronan would take longer than most to develop but he has come on ‘leaps and bounds’ since.
He achieved five A-C GCSEs and is now hoping to attend Hull University next year to study primary teaching.
The girls also had to overcome early setbacks but Olivia now works at Sewerby Zoo and Mary is studying art and plans to become a tattooist.
Their mother Jane, 50, who moved to Bridlington, east Yorkshire., four years ago said: “From an education point of view, I was told the triplets would take longer to develop.
“I was told when the triplets got to their teens they would catch up, and they did.
“Up until that point they had to work harder than most to get to where they wanted to be.
“They are all now fit and healthy, I cannot ask for any more than that, but it has been a long haul.
“They are all going off in different directions which is lovely to see. I can now breath a sigh of relief.
“I just think we are extremely lucky considering the circumstances. They are all working and just getting on with their lives.
“At the time there was more chance of us winning the lottery. It was miraculous and I don’t think it does really sink in.”
Doctors discovered that Jane, originally from Suffolk, was expecting triplets earlier in her pregnancy.
It wasn’t until the 28th week that they realised Ronan had developed outside the uterus and was the result of an ectopic pregnancy.
It is life-threatening because the growing foetus could rupture the fallopian tube, causing severe internal bleeding.
Thousands of women a year have an ectopic pregnancy but the majority of cases result in termination.
Jane and her son survived because when the fallopian tube ruptured, the embryo attached itself to the exterior walls of the uterus and the bladder, allowing an effective womb to be created.
A team of 26 doctors were involved in the caesarean section delivery performed 29 weeks and three days into the pregnancy at King’s College Hospital.
The twin girls were born first, via a classical incision in the top of the uterus.
The third baby, Ronan, had to be removed without damaging his placenta because of the risk of massive bleeding.
His mother’s bowel was moved in order to get him out and the operation took just over an hour.
“Ronan burst out of the fallopian tubes and he ended up in my stomach cavity, that’s where he grew and he made his own makeshift womb”
“There was a wall between him and the two girls.
“I always believed there was something wrong from the start of my pregnancy, it was just a feeling I had.
“I was really lucky to go for a routine scan where they spotted the complications. They raised their concerns and I was sent off to King’s College Hospital.
“They could not remove the placenta, it’s still there. Every now and again I feel a twinge but I just live with it.
“I was told the day before I had Ronan that he had a 0.5% chance of survival but I refused to believe them.
“Although, he was the smallest he was the strongest and came on leaps and bounds.
“The whole experience was quite frightening, it was the unknown, but 18 years on we are here to tell the tale.”
Olivia weighed 2lbs 10oz, Mary 2lbs 4oz, and Ronan 2lbs 1oz and the triplets spent the first 10 weeks of their lives at West Suffolk Hospital Neonatal Unit.
Jane, who works as a part time secretary, is planning to mark the triplets’ 18th birthday and her own 50th, by walking the Great Wall of China.
She said: “I wanted to do something out of the norm, to celebrate our survival and give back to those that really mattered.
“I really do not think the four of us would still be here if it wasn’t for the dedication and care we received at the West Suffolk Hospital.
“I have never forgotten the people at the West Suffolk Hospital and the dedication they showed and I always said that I wanted to give something back.”
Mother-of-seven Jane and her sister Kim Mitchell, 38, will be climbing thousands of steep steps over 50 kilometres, seven hours each day over a five-day period.
To donate visit www.justgiving.com/jane-ingram3