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'Miracle' Baby Born 19 Weeks Premature Just Turned 1-Year-Old

One baby born 19 weeks premature just celebrated her first birthday. She is a little miracle, and her story is going viral.

Eliora "Ellie" Schneider has beaten all of the odds stacked against her in her short little life. Due to the fact she was born so premature, Ellie's chances of survival were only 6%, but she was fortunate and had a team of angels on her side at Saint Luke's Hospital.

The hospital is the first of its kind and it focuses solely on helping babies born extremely early. It has a program, based on treating babies born before 24 weeks, the ones with the lowest chance of survival. In the three years that St. Luke's has been open, they have upped the survival rate of preterm babies. Little ones who spend time in the program now have a 50% survival rate, which is truly a miracle.

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Take Ellie for example. She is making huge strides despite being born so early. The now 1-year-old no longer needs an oxygen machine all the time, only at night when she sleeps. Ellie is also starting to crawl and can sit up on her own. These are tremendous accomplishments for the premature baby.

Dr. Barbara Carr, a neurologist at St. Luke's Hospital, spoke to the local Kansas City news regarding Ellie and others like her in the program. She made it clear that while the survival rate is now fantastic, it doesn't mean the babies will be "normal."

Parents of babies born prematurely have to accept that their child may have some challenges. Sadly a majority of the children do not show their developmental delays until they start school. Carr has revealed once the kids involved in the program go off to school, the hospital will have a better understanding of how truly successful it is with preemies.

Despite showing amazing strides in the past year, Ellie still has to have routine check-ups at the hospital to monitor her progress. Plus, she does physical therapy on a regular basis to help build her strength. She is indeed a miracle baby, but her journey is just beginning. However, the lucky little lady has a slew of people on her side, and that is half her battle. Ellie is only a year old, but she is already an inspiration, what a special little girl.

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