WHEN Sarah Morley was born three months premature, GCSEs were the last thing on her parents' minds.

Weighing just 1 lb 10oz, or 758 grams, the tiny York baby was involved in a fight for her life at York Hospital's special care baby unit.

There were concerns that she might suffer brain damage and her sight could be affected, and she also subsequently had to undergo a double hernia operation.

But she battled through to a healthy childhood and now she has delighted her parents Alison and John by gaining11 GCSEs yesterday, including A*s in Art and Design, Religious Studies and English Literature, and As in Music, Biology, German and History, having achieved two other GCSEs previously - including an A at English Language.

Sarah, 16, of Osbaldwick, who was named Child of the Year in The Press Community Pride Awards in 2006 after raising hundreds of pounds for the baby unit, said: "I cried tears of happiness! I was a bit nervous beforehand about certain subjects, such as Maths."

Mrs Morley, who suffered from pre-eclampsia in her pregnancy, forcing doctors to deliver Sarah by Caesarian section at only 27 weeks gestation, said: "I'm delighted and very proud. We weren't thinking about such things as exams when she was born but never thought she would be quite so talented."

Sarah, of Archbishop Holgate School, is now planning to stay on in the Sixth Form to study English Literature, History, Art and German, with the aim of going on to university to study art, history of art or history.