One of the world's smallest surviving premature babies ever born is being celebrated for overcoming countless hurdles to become a North Carolina's most heartwarming success story.
Little E'Layah Faith Pegues was born three-and-a-half months before her mother Megan Smith's due date, weighing just 10 ounces and measuring 10 inches long, officials said.
Smith endured a difficult pregnancy, suffering two strokes, high blood pressure and morning sickness.
She spent about a month on bed rest before doctors at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte saw her baby was not moving.
"I'm by myself, what am I gonna do? Is my baby gonna live? Is anybody gonna be here when I wake up? I prayed. I came back to, and I was just so filled with joy that she was ok, you know, she came out," Smith emotionally told the Charlotte Observer.
She and her fiance, Eric Pegues, are hard-pressed to leave the side of their resilient daughter, taking turns spending their days in the hospital while they wait to bring her home.
Baby E'Layah celebrated the expected day of her birth weighing three pounds, five times more than her birth weight.
She is expected to go home within a week or two, neonatologist Dr. Andrew Herman told ABC News.
"To be honest, we were unsure if E'Layah was going to make it," Herman said, "but the doctor who delivered her could see she had a fighting chance, and her parents never lost faith it was possible she'd survive."
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