Friday, September 10, 1999 Published at 18:17 GMT 19:17 UK
Doctors hail 'miracle' baby
Father Mark Ingram: "The luckiest man alive"
A hospital says it has created medical history by successfully delivering a baby that developed outside the mother's womb during a multiple birth.
The hospital said it was the first reported case of the multiple birth of babies that had developed both inside and outside the womb.
Ronan, Olivia, Mary and their mother are doing well, a hospital spokesman said.
Jane Ingram, 32, had not been taking fertility drugs but discovered she was carrying triplets 18 weeks into the pregnancy.
In an ectopic pregnancy the woman's fallopian tube ruptures, usually leading to loss of the pregnancy and massive internal bleeding which can prove fatal for the mother.
But in Ronan's case, when the tube ruptured the embryo attached itself to the mother's uterus and created its own "womb", with its own blood supply, in the mother's abdominal cavity.
Scans at the time showed only a normal twin pregnancy and it was not until much later doctors discovered the truth.
Consultant obstetrician Dr Davor Jurkovic, who delivered Ronan, along with his two sisters, said it was a "miracle" that the triplets and the mother had survived.
And Mrs Ingram's bravery had been central to the success of the birth.
"Jane was absolutely incredible. The attitude of the patient in situations like this is crucial and her attitude was always positive," he said.
"She was very, very positive in everything we did and that was crucial. Just before the babies were delivered she turned to me and said 'I have faith in you'."
The triplets' father, a factory hand, told the Sun newspaper: "I'm the luckiest man alive, I can't wait for my family to come home."
Following the birth, the babies were taken to the hospital's intensive care unit.
"But happily those concerns have not materialised. If anything he has been more robust than his sisters.
"He achieved natural respiration and came off the ventilator before the other two - perhaps because his lungs had to develop and were given the exercise they needed."
Mrs Ingram is expected to leave hospital soon, although doctor will have to monitor her progress as they were unable to remove the placenta Ronan developed from her stomach.
"She has almost completely recovered. She will have to be monitored closely over the next few weeks to ensure that the placenta does dissolve and that there are no complications," Dr Jurkovic said.