An Uddingston woman has celebrated her 100th birthday, 62 years after she gave birth to twins that defied 1 in 7 million odds.
Mary Sullivan, the youngest of five siblings and born on April 11, 1919, welcomed her first child Carole in 1949, with husband Peter who she met at a town hall dance and who sadly died in 1998.
On October 9, 1952, Mary gave birth to her first set of twins Morag and Peter, followed exactly four years later by the arrival of a second set of twins, Elspeth and David, born on October 9, 1956.
According to statistics, the chances of having two sets of twins, born on exactly the same date four years apart, are approximately 1 in 7 million, classifying it as a near-miracle.
Mary’s five children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren travelled from as far afield as South Africa and Dubai to mark her birthday.
After school, Mary’s first job was with the 24-hour sign company in Shettleston, where she worked in the office. Following that she worked for the famous bookmaker, The Tote, visiting racecourses across the UK, before finishing her career as an assistant nurse in Kirklands Hospital, Bothwell.
Mary’s daughter, Morag, said: “Growing up, we were a very close family, especially the twins. My sister Carole has gone on to have twin boys, so it must run it the family!
“We used to celebrate our birthdays together every year, and each set of twins would have a birthday cake. All our grandparents and aunts and uncles would come and spoil us – so birthdays were always something to look forward to
“We don’t always get to spend time together on our birthdays anymore because some of us live overseas, but we manage to see each other a lot – which is really nice”
Margaret Caldwell, manager of Croftbank House, run by Renaissance Care, commented: “We’re honoured to attend Mary’s birthday with her, alongside her remarkable family.
“Mary has lived at Croftbank House for over four years now, and working with her to ensure she is happy and enjoying life is a real pleasure. It’s always a privilege to care for residents who have such a long and fascinating history.”
Mary, who has lived at Croftbank House for over four years, celebrated her birthday with a party at the Castle Rooms, Uddingston which was attended by over 100 family, friends, and fellow care home residents.
She was presented with a telegram from the Queen by South Lanarkshire Provost Ian McAllan – congratulating her on the tremendous milestone, and was also treated to a cake provided by local Scottish confectionary company Tunnock’s.
Renaissance Care was founded in 2004 by executive chairman Robert Kilgour. It operates 14 care homes across Scotland, with over 1000 staff and close to 700 beds.