A GOUROCK woman says she owes her whole life to the NHS - from the very moment she was born.

Retired IBM worker Mhairi Cameron was the first baby delivered at home in the town under the new National Health Service.

Now, as she celebrates turning 70 along with the life-saving service, she has reflected on the way that NHS staff have always been there for her.

Since appearing on the front page of the Tele for the NHS 50th anniversary back in 1998, Mhairi has battled breast cancer during one traumatic year that also saw her lose her mum Nessie and dad Bob.

Mhairi, who owns a holiday home in Cloch Caravan Park and now lives in Birmingham, was born at 48 Cardwell Road.

She said: "My mum Nessie was always very proud I was the first baby born at home under the NHS and she spoke about it often.

"I was born on July 6 1948.

"My dad in the Merchant Navy and was away at sea - mum had to send a Telegram to tell him he had a baby girl.

"To save money the midwife told her to write 'cushion arrived no tassels'!"

Her mum Nessie even managed to claim back the £10 she had paid to cover the maternity costs prior to Nye Bevan's creation of a universal health service free at the point of use.

Mhairi added: "You really can't imagine what life was like without the NHS.

"The NHS saved my life when I was diagnosed with cancer.

"I really did get first class treatment.

"The doctors and nurses are amazing.

"We all have a lot to be thankful for."

In 2002 Mhairi and her younger sister Aileen lost their beloved mum Nessie at the age of 76.

Mhairi, who moved down to Birmingham with IBM in 1976, then bought a holiday home at the caravan park so she could easily come home to visit her dad, who was in a nursing home.

Five months later in August the family was hit with more devastating news when Mhairi was diagnosed, just four months before her dad died aged 79.

Her sister Aileen Rowley, a retired newspaper production assistant who also lives in Wolverhampton, said: "I thought I was going to lose all my family in the one year. It was a terrible time."

The sisters still come home to Gourock to the caravan park and keep in touch with friends.

Mhairi said: "We have such fond memories of growing up here."