WHEN he was born three months premature, doctors gave Ross Anderson just a one per cent chance of survival – but yesterday he celebrated his 18th birthday.

Mandy Anderson gave birth to Ross just 28 weeks into her pregnancy and her son weighed just 2lbs – the same as a bag of sugar – and he was not expected to live.

But, on Sunday, 54-year-old Mandy, who lives with Ross in Highland Road, Worcester, was able to celebrate his 18th birthday with him.

She said: “It’s a real achievement that Ross has got this far. We are incredibly proud of him. He is an amazing son.

“I am always terribly emotional on his birthday, especially this year as it’s his 18th. Every birthday I am relieved that we have got through another year.

“I’m so proud of what a strong person he has become. He has faced so many different challenges.

“He is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. He’s my world and I can’t imagine life without him.”

Ross, a former Tudor Grange Academy Worcester pupil, added: “I will now look forward to having a few beers legally.”

The birthday celebrations took place at Bluebell Farm yesterday, followed by a card and game night at home. Ross is an avid WWE wrestling fan and enjoyed spending the rest of the night watching the Summerslam event with his friends on TV.

The family are also hosting a birthday party at The Gun Tavern on Friday, August 16.

Ross said the first thing he wants to do to mark adulthood is get his first tattoo – a yin and yang symbol above his wrist.

At the age of 11, Ross was diagnosed with a muscle wasting condition, myotonic dystrophy, which causes him to suffer weakness in the legs, struggle to swallow and have difficulty moving. He can also sleep between 12 to 14 hours a day due to excessive tiredness.

Mandy said: “It comes with a host of problems. It can change on a day-to-day basis. No day is ever the same for Ross. It can be challenging, but we are so lucky to have him with us.”

Ross attends Mencap once a week, which helps develop his confidence and enables him to find jobs to suit his needs.

He has started volunteering at Maggs Clothing Project, in the Tything, and says he’s passionate about supporting the homeless community, adding: “They’re less fortunate than me so I want to make a difference. People always come to me with their problems and I like to help others.”

Ross says he has the “best mum in the world” and has also got a “good circle of friends.”

He added: “I'd like to thank Mitchell, Alex and Dane who have always been there for me and understand me.”

Ross has been in a relationship with his girlfriend, Isabelle, for a year-and-a-half, who he says he hopes to marry someday.