Christmas is coming early for one suburban Chicago family and their preemie daughter.
After their baby girl was born 17 weeks premature and hospitalized for five months, the Pacyna family of northwest suburban Schaumburg is bringing tiny baby Meghan home in time for the holidays.
"We didn't know whether or not we'd have her home before Christmas, so to have her home a couple weeks before is amazing," Meghan's father, Mark Pacyna, told the Daily Herald.
When Meghan was born in July, the tiny girl weighed less than a can of soda and measured just eight inches long, WGN reports.
Mother René Pacyna's water broke during her baby shower in July, and Meghan was born two days later. Five months on, the little girl weighs 7 pounds and is 18 inches long. As Fox Chicago reports, Meghan has also managed to escape blindness, blood clots, cerebral palsy and other conditions associated with premature births.
Doctors at Advocate Good Samaritan hospital in Downers Grove noted how much of a miracle it really is that a baby as premature as Meghan survived.
"When she was born, none of us were sure how long she was going to live because the survival [rate for babies born at 23 weeks] is about 10 percent," neonatologist Dr. Vibhaben Thaker told the Daily Herald. "We all thought that she had a few minutes, to a few hours, to a few days. And then she was a strong baby and she just made it. That was a miracle that she made it."
René Pacyna told Fox, "I've waited a very long time for her and she's truly a miracle."