GOING to primary school for the first time is a milestone for any child.
But it was an extra-special experience for Hucknall twins Lawrence and Dylan Byron when they started at the Hillside School, on the town’s Roberts Lane, on Thursday September 8.
The Byron Boys, as they have become known, were hailed ‘miracle’ babies when they were born 26 weeks premature in the Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC), Nottingham, on September 21 2006.
Lawrence was first to arrive after a normal birth, weighing 2lb 1oz, and Dylan came into the world an hour and 20 minutes later after an emergency Caesarean section, weighing a mere 1 lb 13 oz.
The twins’ parents are Alison Pearl and Gary Byron, who live on Derbyshire Lane. Gary (50) impersonated his namesake, Lord Byron, during the International Byron Festival this year.
In an exclusive interview to the Dispatch, Alison (42) recalled: “I was very poorly and very shocked when the twins were born. But I looked over at my tiny little boys and I had so much love for them. It was an instantaneous feeling.
“Later, I visited them in the QMC’s neo-natal unit. Through the tubes and life support, I saw two perfect, tiny little men — and they were mine. I was overwhelmed with love.
“Gary and I knew they had a major fight to get through and, boy, did they fight.
“The days and weeks that followed were emotionally and physically heartbreaking as we watched them go through the ups and downs. Their lives hung by a thread at times.
“The unit did incredible work and my thanks go to them. But our boys also had the fight in them to battle on.”
Alison said: “It has been very hard work to look after them but so rewarding. They are now two noisy little daredevils who chatter constantly and never stand still.
“There continue to be worries. For instance, it can take weeks and weeks for them to shake off a cold. But they are real battlers and I can’t believe what they have come through.
“Although they are identical twins, they are two separate little boys, each with their own personality.”
Lawrence and Dylan began their education at Hucknall Pre-School Playgroup, based at Watnall Road Baptist Church, when they were three and Alison is full of praise for the care and attention they received.
In particular, the twins took to staff member Sharon Vernon, who was ‘wonderful’ with them, said Alison.
She added that the two boys had been looking forward keenly to starting at Hillside in their school uniforms and it was a proud time for the whole family.