“One percent” baby survives to get degree, career – and husband


A WOMAN born with a 1% chance of survival has defied the odds to get a university degree, career – and now a husband.

Clare Squires was born 17 weeks premature, weighing 1lb 1oz, on January 2, 1989.

One of the smallest babies born alive in Europe at the time, doctors in Edinburgh gave Clare a one-a-hundred chance of pulling through.

The new Mr and Mrs Hamilton on their happy day last week.

The tot measured just eight inches long and had almost transparent skin. Part of a lung had to be removed and she was on a ventilator for four months.

But Clare not only survived but has thrived over the past 27 years, earning a Master’s degree in psychology earlier this year and launching a career as a counsellor.

And on Saturday, Clare enjoyed the happiest day of her life when she married engineer Colin Hamilton in Bonnyrigg, Midlothian.

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Clare in an incubator shortly after she was born.


Her mum, Donna, 51, from Edinburgh, said: “She was only eight inches long, her fingers were like strands of spaghetti. You hear people talking about ‘sugar bag babies’, Clare weighed less than half of one.

“Her skin was almost transparent, she was so fragile the nurses had to wrap her in cling film and bubble wrap to protect her.”

She added: “I didn’t see her for 22 hours after she was born as I had to have a blood transfusion but I was told it would be a miracle if she survived the night.

“To see what she has achieved after everything she’s been through is just absolutely incredible, it makes me and my husband both so grateful.

Clare as a little girl

“In Colin’s speech, he said there were not two prouder parents in Scotland – that really said it all.

“To see what Clare has achieved after everything she has been through is just absolutely incredible, it just makes us both so grateful to the medical staff who helped her.

“None of this would have been possible without their tireless dedication.”

Clare is the youngest sibling to her sister Victoria, 33, and Christopher, 31 who were both born safely.

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Clare with her best friend and maid of honour, Natalie Marnie on their first day at primary school and at the wedding

As a result of her premature birth, she suffered bronchopulmonary dysplasia resulting in her having to have part of her lung removed.

She lived the first four months of her life on a ventilator and weighed just 14lbs on her first birthday.

Clare said: “Obviously I don’t remember anything about it but I do remember being told how lucky I was to be here and I’ve always appreciated that.

“It’s not something we talk about every day but on big occasions, like my wedding and my graduation , it always comes up.

“Colin’s family have always been hugely supported, I think they were a little surprised when I told them.

“My mum always tells me how proud she is of my accomplishments – it means so much to me.”
The couple are currently on their honeymoon visiting Lake Garda in Italy.