TODAY (Wednesday) is massive for a Lochgelly family as Brandon Cuming celebrates his 18th birthday.

Brandon was born on May 20 2002 at ]only 26 weeks and weighed just 1lb 13 ounces and was one of the lightest babies ever to be born in Scotland at that time.

His mum Laura and dad Derek, from Sunnyside Place, were very aware that it was going to be a tough task for their little son to overcome being born so premature, but the they found the support of the staff at Forth Park Maternity Hospital inspirational.

Gran Joyce and di Peter were there to offer support and Peter said: “The staff were very honest with us and said that Brandon had a one in three chance of making it but he has proved to be a tough youngster, and even though his weight at one stage went down to 1lb 6 ounces, he kept battling.”

He added: “Brandon sustained some bleeding on the brain which was a big worry and it was all a bit scary, but bit by bit he started to put on weight although he was in hospital for 12 weeks.

“However, Brandon started to steadily get heavier and heavier and the day we got him home was unbelievable.

“We were told that the cerebral palsy could affect his ability to walk but he has overcome that remarkably well.”

Derek went on: “The staff at the maternity hospital were unbelievably inspirational.

“Brandon was just about the length of my hand and you thought how is he going to survive, but with the superb work of the nurses and doctors he just got stronger and stronger.”

The bleed on the brain led to Brandon having cerebral palsy, which affected a foot, but some excellent work by the medics and physiotherapists has seen him able to walk perfectly well.

Brandon’s education saw him spend time at Gordon Cottage, in Kelty, and then Lochgelly South Primary, before going to Lochgelly High School.

Peter said: “The education service has been tremendously supportive of Brandon at every stage and even though he had the foot problem he loved sport and the staff at all the schools have helped him enjoy swimming, football and carpet bowls.

“The DAS department at Lochgelly High helped him greatly and made him ready to think about the next stage when he reached 16.”

Brandon said he was looking forward to going into work as his fourth year at LHS was ending: “I was looking forward to getting the chance of a career and when the chance of an apprenticeship to become an office assistant came up at specialist fabricators, Langfields, in Dunfermline, I thought lets go for it.

“I have been at it now for two years and I am really enjoying it.”

Brandon was hoping to have got his driving licence by now but his test, set for April 8, was postponed due to the coronavirus crisis and now he hopes the new date of July 16 will allow him the chance to sit his test.

Mum Laura, looking back said: “Way back at Forth Park in May 2002 I never thought we would see Brandon celebrate his 18th birthday but here we are.

“He really has been a battler from the minute he arrived and he is really enjoying his work and following Cowdenbeath with his di.”

Said Brandon: “We like going home and away. I felt the Blue Brazil were going to get into the promotion play-offs but then the virus struck but we will be looking ahead with confidence for next season.”

The same coronavirus situation which torpedoed Cowden’s promotion hopes, has also put a hold on Brandon’s 18th celebrations: “There was a party arranged but all that has had to be changed due to the regulations currently in place.”

So he will be celebrating his 18th with mum and dad and his brothers Mackenzie and Luis, but he hopes to have a party when the restrictions are eased.

Brandon is happy at 18 and is flanked left by dad Derek, gran Joyce and brother Luis and right, di Peter, mum Laura and brother Mackenzie.