The birthday boy who has beaten the odds

Inspiration: James Lumb, 18, with proud mum Lesley
Inspiration: James Lumb, 18, with proud mum Lesley

INSPIRATIONAL James Lumb has celebrated his 18th birthday against the odds – after doctors feared he wouldn’t even reach his first.

When mum Lesley Lumb was pregnant, a problem was picked up with James’s brain and he was given a 50/50 chance of surviving birth.

The labour went on for three-and-a-half days while Mrs Lumb battled to keep her baby boy alive.

She said: “Doctors reckoned my body was in shock – because they said he could die and I knew that while he was in my body he was safe.”

Little James survived the birth and was closely monitored in hospital – with the constant worry that he may not make it – until he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was 10 months old.

This week he celebrated his 18th birthday.

Mrs Lumb, 40, of Forest Green, Illingworth, said the fear of possibly losing your child never leaves you, even when doctors said he was OK.

She said: “The first six months we were just numb. Then I became very over-protective of him. It’s only probably in the last few years that I’ve started to relax and realise that he is going to be here forever.

“It’s fantastic that he’s now 18. It’s brilliant.”

James’s condition means part of his brain is damaged, affecting the right side of his body more severely than then left.

The Ravenscliffe school pupil has been in and out of hospital with infections and for operations on his leg, hip and ankle to increase movement.

But Mrs Lumb said James – who is also profoundly deaf – is a real “tough cookie”.

She added: “He just gets on with it and doesn’t complain. He’s very loving, full of affection and has a wicked sense of humour.”