When Dylan Slaughter was born 17 weeks early, doctors did not expect him to live more than a few hours.
But he defied the odds and despite many health problems, 16-year-old Dylan is set to start college this summer - a milestone his family never thought possible.
Dylan, of Fitzwilliam, weighed just 1lb when he was born and was severely underdeveloped. He had no ears and his distraught mother, Julie could see her son’s heart beating through his chest because his skin was so delicate.
He was placed straight into the intensive care unit at St James’ Hospital in Leeds but doctors said he would not live more than three hours.
Miss Slaughter, of Newstead Terrace, could not even hold her baby because his paper-thin skin just tore away.
He endured 27 blood transfusions, two sets of laser eye surgery, and a double hernia operation.
Dylan now faces a range of health complications, including autism, attention deficit disorder, developmental coordination disorder, delayed motor skills.
Dylan is also deaf but his hearing is helped with hearing aids.
He will start college in September and hopes to become an actor, or get involved with television or film production.
Miss Slaughter 41, said: “I’m over the moon and terrified all at once.
“ It only seems two minutes since he was a little baby and now he is going out in the wide world all on his own.”
He will initially go on a personal progress course at Wakefield College and then go on to study media.
Dylan said: “I’m really excited and think college will be lots of fun.”