Britain’s youngest grandparents: Shem Davies is granddad at 29

Britain's youngest grandparents: Shem Davies is granddad at 29
Britain’s youngest grandparents: Shem Davies is granddad at 29

An unemployed man, 29, has become one of Britain’s youngest grandparents after his daughter gave birth at 14. Shem Davies and his former girlfriend Kelly John, 30, were overjoyed when their daughter Tia, who was born when her parents were 15, gave birth to little Gracie earlier this month.

Tia’s boyfriend, Jordan Williams, is 15. Shem said: ‘It is an absolute joy to see Gracie thriving. I’m incredibly proud of Tia. She’ll be a brilliant mum. At first I wasn’t overly pleased that she was pregnant but I soon got over than. Now it’s all about being positive. I’ve got to know Jordan and he’s shaping up to be a decent young man,’ Shem told The People. However, nurses at the maternity unit were left embarrassed after they thought the young grandfather was in fact the teenage father of Gracie. Apparently when he entered the ward they thought the 29-year-old looked so fresh-faced they asked him to prove he was over the age of 16. But the arrival of Gracie wasn’t easy as Tia was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, seven weeks before her due date.

Proud parents: Jordan and Tia with their newborn daughter Gracie who was born prematurely

Worried doctors decided their best option would be to deliver the tot by Caesarean section. The condition, which often leaves expectant mothers with high blood pressure and protein in their urine, could lead to life-threatening symptoms for both mother and baby.

Tia said the contrast between the carefree fun of the school playground and then the fear of death for her and the baby was something she would never forget. Happily after a 25 minute operation Gracie was born but only weighed 2lb and was rushed to the special care unit at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, which is close to the family home. Little Gracie is still being kept in an incubator but has managed to put on enough weight which means she will be allowed home in a few weeks.

A week after Gracie was born Tia celebrated her 15th birthday in the ward surrounded by friends and family. The teenager, who has been dating Jordan for 18 months and wants to be a hairdresser, said she didn’t plan on celebrating her birthday in hospital but added that her baby daughter was the best present she could ask for.

Father and daughter: Shem with his daughter Tia and granddaughter Gracie

Once mother and daughter have been released from hospital they will be staying with grandmother Kelly so that Tia can finish school. Grandad Shem, who has a young son of his own, said he is keen to get stuck in and help Tia and Jordan settle into life.  Jordan, who sat his final GCSE just weeks before Gracie arrived, said he understands responsibility. ‘I’m captain of the school rugby team and that’s like having 14 kids.’

Despite her young age, mother Tia says that she would not be happy if newborn Gracie became pregnant at 14 but that she would do as her mum did, which is respect her choice to have a child. She also paid tribute to her mother, who was 15 when she was born, saying that she could not have wished for a better parent and role model adding that they have a very close relationship.

Britain’s high teenage pregnancy rate means that many more young people in this generation are set to become grandparents in their late twenties and early thirties. The latest figures show in 2009 38,259 girls under 18 became pregnant, but nearly 50 per cent had a termination. The UK still leads the way when it comes to young mothers, and our rate is five-times higher than in the Netherlands and twice that of France and Spain.


Britain’s youngest grandparents: Shem Davies is granddad at 29

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