A TINY baby girl, born at just 24 weeks, has beaten the odds to celebrate her 16th birthday today, Friday.
Kayleigh Barnes weighed just 1lb 9oz when mum Tammy gave birth to her after a three day labour at Heartlands Hospital.
Born at the UKs abortion limit, doctors didnt expect her to survive as she suffered a brain haemorrhage, lost her fingertips on one hand, and underwent both heart and laser eye surgery.
Tammy said medical staff had even told her Kayleigh would be classed as a miscarriage.
It was awful - we didnt understand it, said the 36-year-old from Raglan Way, Chelmsley Wood.
Once she was born, they wouldnt intervene until she showed signs of life.
Then she moved her foot and everyone got to work.
Grandmother Bernadette Hearn, aged 57, from Arlescote Road, said things had been so touch and go, the family had even called a vicar to plan Kayleighs funeral.
They didnt expect her to survive.
There were so many times we got called up and thought this is it.
Despite it all Kayleigh did pull through and has grown up to become a typical teenager, although sadly, she did lose the sight in one eye aged 13, believed to be a result of the high oxygen levels she was exposed to as a baby.
I didnt think she would reach this birthday, Tammy, a mobile cleaner, added.
It was only when she reached three or four, we realised she was going to be okay. For other parents of premature babies, to see the story of one who has reached 16 is proof that they can survive and do well.
The Smiths Wood Sports College pupil said she felt lucky and very excited to be celebrating her birthday.
And to make it even more special, her family, including younger sister Courtney who was also born prematurely, are throwing Kayleigh a JLS themed party, her favourite band.
You wouldnt believe how big a fan she is, said Tammy.
Were having a disco and DJ, and a JLS themed cake coloured red, green, yellow and blue, to represent each member.