Baby Born Weighing 1.5 Lbs. Defies the Odds, Giving Mom Extra Special Mother’s Day: 'Best Gift'

"My heart is so full of joy," Savanna Buller tells PEOPLE of getting to spend Mother's Day with all four of her children

<p>Courtesy of The Buller Family</p> (L-R) Baby Margo with mom Savanna Buller and dad Daniel Buller

Courtesy of The Buller Family

(L-R) Baby Margo with mom Savanna Buller and dad Daniel Buller

Savanna Buller was told multiple times that her baby girl — who was born weighing only 1 lb., 5 oz. — might not survive. But this Mother's Day, the mom of four is elated that she gets to spend the day with all of her children, including her now-8-month-old daughter, who should be going home from the hospital soon.

“My heart is so full of joy,” Savanna Buller, a 29-year-old labor and delivery nurse, who also works in the NICU at a hospital in Lake Charles, tells PEOPLE. “I feel like I’ve been given the best gift in the world.”

<p>Courtesy of The Buller Family</p> Baby Margo

Courtesy of The Buller Family

Baby Margo

Savanna and Daniel Buller, now a 30-year-old refinery operator, met in high school while the cheerleader was selling concessions at a game. When they got married in 2014, they knew they wanted to have a big family.

They had no complications with their first three children, but about 20 weeks into her pregnancy with her fourth child, Savanna’s blood pressure spiked and she developed preeclampsia.

Just five weeks later, her blood pressure spiked and her lungs began filling with fluid. Although the baby wasn't due until Thanksgiving, baby Margo came into the world via an emergency c-section on August 14, 2023.

“She was the size of a water bottle,” her mother remembers. “She was very tiny. You look at this little baby and think, ‘How are you supposed to survive?’ ”

<p>Courtesy of The Buller Family</p> Baby Margo

Courtesy of The Buller Family

Baby Margo

Related: Baby Who Was Born Weighing 1 Lb. 'Graduates' from NICU After Months-Long Stay

Although the premie was initially doing okay, then her abdomen started to swell and she developed a life-threatening illness, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). “She got super sick,” her mother says. “Basically, the intestines in her abdomen ruptured and she went septic."

Savanna told her husband to come to the hospital, hold their daughter for the first time, and say goodbye. She didn’t think their baby would survive the flight transferring her from Lake Charles to Children’s Hospital New Orleans.

At Children’s Hospital New Orleans, Savanna asked the neonatologist if they could make her daughter comfortable, because she didn’t want to see her baby suffer. “I remember he looked over at her in the crib and was like, 'I still see some fight in Margo...As long as Margo's fighting, we're going to keep supporting her and fighting with her,' " she recalls being told.

<p>Courtesy of The Buller Family</p> Baby Margo in the NICU

Courtesy of The Buller Family

Baby Margo in the NICU

The medical team told the family they were going to take it hour by hour.

“The hours turned into days. The days turned into a week, and finally I looked at my husband and I was like, ‘I think she might make it. I think she’s going to make it,” Savanna says.

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But then, after a surgery to save her intestines, Margo started “bleeding out from everywhere,” her mom says.

“Most babies don’t make it through this,” she says. “We were called to the bedside. We were told it doesn’t look very good. The prognosis looks really scary.”

Fortunately, baby Margo survived. “It’s really, really such a miracle,” her mother says.

<p>Courtesy of The Buller Family</p> Baby Margo

Courtesy of The Buller Family

Baby Margo

Now, Margo’s prognosis is really good and her parents say they wouldn't be surprised if she ends up becoming a surgeon some day, like the one who “saved her life over and over again.”

“Margo has defied all the odds for a reason, it’s got to be to help other people,” her mom says of the happy baby she calls the “Queen of the NICU.”

Related: World's Most Premature Twins — Born at 22 Weeks and Given '0% Chance of Survival' — Celebrate 1st Birthday

“Margo taught me to live for today, don't worry about tomorrow,” she adds. “She is such a happy baby. Despite all of the pain and suffering she's gone through, she still smiles and giggles.”

<p>Courtesy of The Buller Family</p> Savanna and Daniel Buller with their four children

Courtesy of The Buller Family

Savanna and Daniel Buller with their four children

Margo now weighs 13 lbs, six oz,  says “Dada” and babbles and takes a bottle. She’s still in the hospital, but they are hoping to go home in a week or two.

On Mother’s Day, Savanna plans to spend the day with all four of her children, her eldest son 9-year-old Owen, eldest daughter 6-year-old Ollie, and her youngest son, 3-year-old Noah who haven’t seen their baby sister, Margo since October (the NICU doesn’t allow big siblings to visit during RSV season). They plan to visit Margo in the morning, then visit the nearby zoo afterward.

“She’s such a blessing," her mother says. "She really is a miracle."

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