Born after just 22 weeks of his mother’s pregnancy, Cullen Potter from Alabama had a challenging start to life to say the least.
Cullen first experienced difficulties while still in the womb, leading his mother Molli to spend three weeks in a Pensacola hospital prior to his birth.
His parents were told nothing could be done to save the little boy, who had just a two per cent chance of survival. Even if they were able to somehow keep him alive, he would suffer from disabilities.
However, his family never gave up; with dad Robert ringing 16 hospitals across three states to find one which could accommodate such a severely premature child. After experiencing two miscarriages the previous year, the couple were going to do all they could to give Cullen a fighting chance.
Molli was transferred to USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital, where Cullen was delivered through an emergency C-section.
The brave baby boy – who weighed just 13.9 ounces at the time of his birth – has beaten all odds, and has now even ‘graduated’ from intensive care.
Adorable Cullen now weighs 5 pounds, 11 ounces and is thankfully said to be free from any major difficulties; overcoming the devastating prognosis given to his parents. After 160 days in hospital, the little warrior could finally go home.
And to celebrate this momentous milestone, the precious little chap was given his very own graduation ceremony; complete with solemn music and a beyond cute cap and gown from a Build-a-Bear shop (the only outfit diddy enough to fit him).
Cullen paraded down the hospital corridor, escorted by nurse Jewel Barbour who cared for him during his time in intensive care, and the relief on the faces of hospital staff was plain to see.
Writing on Facebook, proud mum Molli spoke of how the miraculous little boy was ‘perfect in every way’:
He was born at 22.2 weeks weighing 13.9 oz. after 160 days he finally got to come home. 5 months old and 5 lbs 11 oz. No major issues. Our local hospital flat out said they would not save him before 24 weeks and he had a 2% chance to live.
I opted to transfer (after my husband called 16 hospitals in 3 states to find one that would save him). They acted like transferring was pointless, that trying to save him was pointless. Well, here he is. Alive and thriving. Never give up.
The hospital I transferred to that did save him with no hesitation was USA women’s and children’s in Mobile AL. They are AMAZING at what they do.
They believe in these small babies and give them the fighting chance they deserve. I pray the more doctors and hospitals see stories like my sons and many more, that they will reconsider their policy and give all the babies the chance they deserve.
All our very best wishes are with this tiny but tough little baby as he enters the big wide world. I have no doubt he can take on anything.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.