A FAMILY is to mark a bitter-sweet day celebrating their son’s first birthday while remembering his lost brother.

Seth Astin has reached the landmark birthday against all the odds, after being born severely premature and losing his twin brother shortly afterwards.

Proud parents Clair Slater and Wayne Astin are marking the day by putting up balloons and banners and opening their Oswaldtwistle home to family and friends. But the couple said the day was also to remember Seth’s beloved twin Reegan.

Clair said: “We thought we would make it more of an open house. It will definitely be a day for sharing feelings and just talking about everything that has happened over those 12 months.

“It is an amazing day to celebrate how far Seth has come. But it is also the day we lost Reegan, so it will be hard too.”

Clair gave birth to her twins at just 24 weeks. Seth was born weighing lb 6oz one day over what is considered to be the lowest threshold for a premature baby’s ability to survive. His twin Reegan was born weighing 1lb 4oz the following day.

The twins were born at Preston, and remained there for a month after being born on February 1 and 2 – Clair’s due date was May 24. They were moved to Liverpool Women’s Hospital for specialist care.

From the time they were born, either twin could have died at any moment and their parents’ emotions were on a knife edge. They then faced the devastating blow of losing Reegan at 11 days old.

Over the next 13 weeks, they held on to hope as Seth underwent two operations and 18 blood transfusions and he also survived a cardiac arrest. Shortly after being moved back to Burnley for intensive care, his right lung collapsed.

His parents were able to bring him home aged five months with oxygen to support him.

It is not yet known whether Seth’s development has been affected, or just delayed by his time in hospital. However the couple were overjoyed when he sat up for the first time recently.

Clair said: “The joys of having Seth and the sadness of losing Reegan have been overwhelming. We have good and bad days.

“Seth doesn’t need oxygen and isn’t on any medication now, that is something to celebrate.”