The tiniest baby born in Britain in the past 20 years has celebrated her first birthday against all odds.
Isabella’s dad Ryan Evans, 26, said the day was a ‘celebration of survival’ before he marked the milestone by proposing to her mum Kym Brown, 25.
The pair were told to expect the worst when Isabella was born at just 24 weeks on June 14, last year, weighing less than a pound. She was so tiny her hands were smaller than 1p coins. But Isabella defied the odds and her proud parents threw a family party at their Bishop’s Cleeve home in Gloucestershire to celebrate.
After singing Happy Birthday and getting Isabella to blow out the candle of her cake, Ryan took a moment to thank guests for coming. He said: “Obviously it’s not just a birthday celebration. It’s a celebration of survival really. For a long time we did not think she would get to this point. We are now finally a family. There’s only one thing left to make us a real family.”
Kym jokingly called into the crowd: “Dad, did you hear that?” before Ryan got down on one knee beside her. As he pulled out the diamond ring, the emotional mum exclaimed “What?“, before nodding her acceptance with Isabella in her arms.
The proposal is the culmination of a tough year for the couple after Isabella was born by emergency caesarian at 24 weeks weighing just 12oz.
After two life-saving operations and months or scares she was eventually released from hospital at six months old in December last year.
Kym said after the party: “After all we have been through this is the happiest day of my life.” She thanked Ryan for being an “amazing dad to our little girl.”
She added: “Our beautiful little miracle turned one, a huge milestone for such a little fighter. I am so, so proud of her, the most amazing person I know. Her smile keeps me going every single day.”
Ryan, who admitted he had to pluck the courage to propose in front of everyone with a few drinks, said: “I can’t wait for us to be man and wife.“