ONE of East Lancashire’s tiniest ever babies, born weighing less than a bag of sugar, has celebrated her 21st birthday.

Student Lauren McGovern fitted into the palm of her father’s hand when she was born 15 weeks early weighing just 1lb 12oz.

Doctors initially feared for the future of the tiny tot, who spent several months in an incubator fighting off infections.

But to her parent’s relief she was finally allowed home at four-months-old weighing just 4lbs 6oz.

Miraculously, Lauren has never suffered any lasting results of being born prematurely and is now studying to be a social worker at the University of Central Lancashire.

The mother-of-one, from Burton Street, Rishton said: “When I look at pictures of myself in the incubator I find it really difficult to think of that as me. It must have been really difficult for my parents. Luckily, I have never had any of the side affects that come with a premature birth including poor eye sight or deafness.

“I now have a 20-month-old son of my own called Bradley and I couldn’t be happier.”

Lauren’s mum Joanne McGovern said she and her husband Sean lived day by day while their first born battled on in hospital. She said: “The whole situation was absolutely terrifying for us.

“Other premature babies were dying around us from similar infections to what Lauren had, but she was a little fighter.

“When we got her home she still wasn’t as big as many new-born babies.

“We used to take her out in the pram and people couldn’t get over how small she was.

“But by the time she had reached two years old she had caught up with other children her age.

“When she became pregnant with Bradley I did worry that she might have a premature birth, but it all went brilliantly.

“The extra care she needed at birth really created a special bond between us.”

Lauren now plans to celebrate her 21st birthday in style with a party for all her friends and family at at Blackburn Golf Club.