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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 September, 2004, 17:35 GMT 18:35 UK
The EPICure children
Panorama has been given exclusive access to the largest ever study of extremely premature babies born at less than 26 weeks gestation.

The programme followed several children who had taken part in the EPICure study. Here are some of the other children who made were featured in the study.


Michael was born in May of 1995 at 25 weeks gestation weighing just over 800 gms. When Michael was 18 months old, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

He has spent a lot of his child hood in and out of hospital, undergoing operations, visiting doctors and physiotherapists. "If my life were straight forward," laughs Michael's proud mum, "I'd be bored. I much prefer the challenge."

Michael has two older brothers who play with him, and he loves to watch the television especially quizzes and sport like snooker and football.


Aaron's mum was 24 weeks and two days pregnant when she gave birth to Aaron in June of 1995.

She remembers being told that her son's chances of survival were not very good. When Aaron went home from hospital, he was still on oxygen.

Aaron is now nine years old and a pupil at his local mainstream school. His favourite subject is science.

He has three older (and bigger!) brothers and loves going on holiday with his family.

This summer he went to Cornwall and France and this photo was taken of him in New Zealand two years ago.


Naomi weighed 934 grams when she was born in June 1995.

By the time Naomi was one year old, she had spent more time in hospital than at home. This was because she had various complications including chronic lung disease when she was seven months old.

Naomi has overcome all these difficulties, and now goes to mainstream school. She loves to play the cello, is a Brownie and goes to gym club three times a week.

Shannon Jones

Shannon was born in September 1995 at when her mum was exactly 24 weeks pregnant.

Her early arrival was such a surprise that she was born at home as her mum didn't have time to get to the hospital.

Shannon is blind in one eye, but still manages to go to her local school where she is doing very well in reading and writing.

Shannon has four sisters who she plays with and she loves watching TV.

Dion and Jordan Harewood

Dion and Jordan were two out of triplets, sadly their brother died at birth.

They were born at 25 weeks and one day. Like many premature babies they were given steroids to help their lungs grow more quickly.

Both boys go to their local school where they get a little extra help in the classroom. They are football crazy and go training together.

They also love riding their bikes, have just started to skate board and on a Saturday they go swimming.

Rosie Marshall

Rosie was born in October 1995.

Her mum, Ruth, was 24 weeks pregnant; she says she didn't believe the doctor when he told her that she was in labour.

Ruth also says that after the birth, it was quite scary to see Rosie for the first time as she really didn't know what to expect.

But Rosie did so well in hospital that she went home earlier than her original due date. The family are still in touch with some of the nurses who looked after Rosie at the time.

Rosie is doing very well at school. She goes swimming once a week and goes to a 'Fit Kids' club on a Monday.

Philip Nicholson

Philip was born in August of 1995 weighing just under 800gms.

He spent his first 110 days in hospital - he wasn't quite home in time for Christmas, but was back with all his family by New Year.

Philip has mild cerebral palsy and his mum says he's quite prone to coughs and colds.

Philip goes to the same school as his older brother and likes to do everything with together with him including skate boarding and going out on his bike.

Megan Turner

Megan weighed just 590 grams when she was born in October 1995.

Her mum was 23 weeks and one day pregnant. Like many mothers of premature babies, her first cuddle with Megan was three weeks after she was born. She spent six months in hospital.

Megan, who will soon turn 9 years old, has two younger sisters. At school her favourite subjects are history and art and she loves going swimming. Her mum and dad say they are very proud of her.

Panorama: Miracle baby grows up is broadcast on BBC One on Wednesday, 22 September, 2004 at 21:00 BST.

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Layla Jane
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Your comments
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