Eighteen years ago Jane Ingram made medical history by giving birth to triplets.
Back in September 1999, Olivia, Mary and Ronan, came into the world at odds of 60 million to one.
And what made the birth at King College Hospital, in London, so unusual was that Ronan was born as a result of an ectopic pregnancy … the world’s first. He had created his own placenta outside the womb, putting the life of his mother and two sisters in danger.
The two girls settled inside the womb as normal. But the third egg got trapped inside the Fallopian tubes, with the foetus surviving and developing by creating a second “womb”.
A team of 26 doctors delivered Ronan and his two sisters by caesarean section and they then spent 10 weeks in the West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds.
Now 18 years on Jane, who used to live in Thurston, is planning to celebrate the triplets 18th birthday and her own 50th, by walking the Great Wall of China and at the same time raise money for the My WiSH Charity, which supports the Bury hospital.
Speaking from her home in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, she said: “I wanted to do something out of the norm, to celebrate our survival and give back to those that really mattered, those professionals who looked after us so wonderfully well, professionals who work so hard and tirelessly and still continue to do so for others. If it were not for these professionals the four of us would not be here to tell our story today.
“I am raising money for the West Suffolk Hospital Neonatal Unit.”
Her 38-year-old sister Kim Mitchell, who lives in Hull, is
also doing the challenge with her raising funds on behalf of her son Sam who has Tourettes Syndrome.
The challenge commences on October 7, just after she lands in Beijing, and she has been training since January 2016 already losing over two stone.
They will be climbing thousands of steep steps over 50 kilometres, seven hours each day over a five-day period.
Jane has brought up four other children: Samantha, aged 32, who lives in Wymondham; Rachel, 28, from Sapiston who is a chef at a care home in Bury St Edmunds; Daniel, 27, who is currently travelling round Australia; and Tomas, 20, a chef in Bath; split up from the triplets’ father Mark eight years ago. She moved from West Suffolk four years ago to start a new life with her partner Michael Andrews, 57, formerly site manager at Beyton Middle School, and who now works at a pupil referral unit in Hull.
Meanwhile, the triplets have made their way in the world with Olivia working at a local zoo, Ronan studying child social care development, at East Riding College, and Mary studying art at the same college.
Jane, who works part time as a secretary at a social club in Flamborough, said: “I really do not think the four of us would still be here if it wasn’t for the dedication and care we received at the West Suffolk Hospital.
“Now that my children have grown up I needed to do something for myself which would get me out of my comfort zone and I’m hoping to raise £3,000 at the same time.
“I have never forgotten the people at the West Suffolk Hospital and the dedication they showed and I always said that I wanted to give something back.”
She has set up a fundraising web site for people to donate to her walk at http://www.justgiving.com/jane-ingram3
Pictured above are Jane Ingram with her triplets, left to right, Mary, Olivia and Ronan.