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A mother says if it weren’t for doctors and staff at a Luxembourg hospital, her son wouldn’t be celebrating his 21st birthday today.

Ann Birch-Bennett, originally from Great Britain, was living in Luxembourg, a small European country, when she suddenly went into labor in October 1995. She was just 24 weeks pregnant at the time, The Luxemburger Wort reports.

Doctors told her if the baby was born that early, he would likely die.

Four days after going to the Grande Duchesse Charlotte hospital, Birch-Bennett delivered Alexander, who weighed one pound, seven ounces when he was born.

“They delivered him feet first, and the first thing I remember is him crying. I thought if he can cry, he will live,” said Birch-Bennett.

Alexander stayed in the hospital for 100 days before doctors determined he was strong enough to go home.

“It was so fortunate. Had it happened two weeks earlier, I would have been in England. The local hospital in the UK didn’t have the facilities that they did in Luxembourg,” said Birch-Bennett. “The local hospital in the UK didn’t have the facilities that they did in Luxembourg.”

Even now, 21 years later after his birth, Birch-Bennett keeps in close touch with the doctors and nurses who cared for her son.

She said he grew up to become a normal, healthy young man.

“He swims, plays rugby. He does everything,” Ann said, adding: “We can look back and marvel at the amazing facilities that enabled a baby born so small and so young to be able to go on and lead a fulfilling and rewarding life,” said Birch-Bennett.