IT is a proud day for any mum and dad to see their child start school, but especially for parents who thought this day would never come.
When Kal-el Sidlow Wilson spends his first day at Carr Head Primary today it will be a momentous occasion for his parents Vikki Sidlow and Daniel Wilson.
Not only was Kal-el born after doctors told Vikki she could not have children, the young fighter was two months premature and was later diagnosed with vision impairment, aged six months.
Having a playful four-year-old on their hands means Vikki, 29, and Daniel, 26, have almost forgotten the time they were told they might not be able to have children.
Vikki was warned in her early 20s she could have polycystic ovaries and struggle to conceive.
So her and Daniel were shocked when she found she was not only pregnant, but 26 weeks gone.
Vikki had put her weight gain down to a holiday and working long hours running the Queen’s pub in Layton with Daniel.
She said: “I’d done loads of pregnancy tests but they were all negative.
“We’d just been on an all-inclusive so I thought I’d put a couple of pounds on because of that but I wasn’t massive, and no-one ever commented.
“Being told by the doctor, it didn’t feel real. And even they weren’t positive I was.”
Daniel added: “It was totally unexpected. We didn’t realise she could have kids so it never entered my mind she could be pregnant.”
The couple, of Stanley Avenue, Poulton, celebrated but just six weeks later, while working a busy Friday night shift at the pub, Vikki’s waters broke.
After a weekend spent in Victoria Hospital, Vikki went into labour and gave birth to four pound eight ounce Kal-el on Monday, December 10, 2007, two months premature.
Vikki said: “It’s like I was only pregnant for six weeks.”
Daniel added: “I was crying my eyes out when he was born.
“He came out with one arm up, like Superman. That’s why we called him Kal-el, Superman’s name. It means strength and power.”
Kal-el was immediately taken into specialist care and put in an incubator, meaning his agonising parents could not hold him for his first few days.
Vikki said: “It was horrible not being able to hold him. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to bond with him.
“Because I hadn’t found out for so long I hadn’t been chatting to him, I felt like I’d neglected him.
“I was always there, I was so paranoid. But he was only actually in the incubator a few days.”
Kal-el and his mum were able to go home after just 12 days in hospital. But at six months old, doctors told Daniel and Vikki the tragic news that Kal-el was blind.
Extensive trips to Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Manchester Eye Hospital instead showed him to have Nystagmus, a condition which causes involuntary eye movement and can cause reduced or limited vision.
Vikki added: “When we were told that it was just relief that he wasn’t blind.
“He copes with it really well. As long as he can see, it’s irrelevant.”
Now mum and dad, who have already been through so much, have been more nervous about the first day at school than Kal-el.
Daniel said: “He’s ready for it, he’ll be bossing them all around in no time. But we’re used to spending so much time with him.”
Vikki added: “He’s amazing. I’m dreading him going, but I think he thinks he’s just going to nursery so he’ll be fine.”