On August 22, Leighton Long (17) saw the light of day in Nashville Hospital, a full 16 weeks premature. Tatum Kelly, 17, followed six days later, who was just 24 weeks old and weighed just over a pound. While the two premature babies struggled to get by in the infant intensive care unit, their mothers gave each other support during the difficult times. A close friendship soon developed between their children, as reported by “foxnews.com”. And this has now been crowned with a heartwarming gesture – they went to the prom together.
Born too early: This is how Tatum & Leighton fought their way into life
Today, Leighton and Tatum’s mothers still remember the challenges the two infants faced. While Laura Kelly’s daughter Tatum had to be connected to the ventilator, Lorrie Long also feared for the life of her son, who was born 12 weeks premature. During this difficult time, both mothers gave each other support and encouraged each other that their children would make it.
The connection between the two ultimately remained after they were allowed to leave the clinic with their children. That’s how Tatum and Leighton stayed in touch together. Although the two 17-year-olds grew up more than 120 kilometers apart, they developed a close bond. The parents mainly used the holidays and their children’s birthdays to visit each other.
Close friendship is crowned with prom after 17 years
In April, Tatum plucked up the courage to ask Leighton to accompany her to prom. “I asked him because I knew it was getting close and I thought it would be fun to bring him because we haven’t seen each other that much,” Tatum said on Good Morning America. It wasn’t a classic rendezvous. Rather, she wanted to mark her lifelong association with Leighton. “We’re just really good friends,” the teenager told foxnews.com.
Both dressed up smartly for the big day. Leighton wore a black suit while Tatum wore a shimmering blue dress with a diamond belt. In the big limousine we went to the prom. And this only strengthened the friendship. “We had a lot of fun. He met some of my friends and it was really cool,” the 17-year-old recalled of her big night.