'I'm just grateful': Micropreemie baby born at 1 pound is finally going home after a long fight

This Chicago hospital is calling it a miracle.

A baby girl who weighed around one pound at birth has finally made it home after an incredible fight for her life.

Her mother, NaKeya Haywood of Joliet, was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia at 22 weeks pregnant, a dangerous high-blood pressure condition that put her and her baby at risk for serious complications.

"From there things just didn't get better," Haywood told WLS-TV Monday. "We had to make that tough decision that we had to deliver her."

Nyla Brook Haywood was born a micropreemie at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, Illinois on Nov. 1. She weighed 1 pound and 1 ounce and was only 11 inches long.

After six months of delicate care in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit, Nyla now weighs about 10 pounds and is 21 inches long. Though she was born with her eyes fused, lungs underdeveloped and skin nearly see-through, according to WLS-TV, she has grown strong enough to leave for home.

The hospital staff is amazed by how far she's come.

Nyla's delivery

"Anytime we get called for a 22-week delivery, you know, the odds are stacked against those babies," Nyla's doctor Dr. Mario Sanchez said in a statement to USA TODAY Wednesday. "There's so many things that could go wrong or don't go right whether you do everything perfectly or not."

The staff raised the room temperature so Nyla would be more comfortable leaving the womb. Sanchez described the delivery as "flawless," the hardest part being the breathing tube that needed to be inserted into such a tiny body, but even that went "smoothly," he said.

"Whenever you have a 22-week, just because you leave the delivery room doesn't mean that everything's going to be fine," Sanchez said. "Many babies do get head bleeds." But Nyla's head ultrasounds were always normal. "For a 22-week-old... a completely normal head ultrasound is just really great," Sanchez shared.

"In my experience, most babies at 22 weeks pass away or have delays," he said. "[Nyla] is expected to have a near normal outcome which makes her very special."

Haywood did not immediately respond to request for comment.

A going home parade

Silver Cross Hospital sent first-time parents NaKeya and Cory Haywood off with their miracle baby in a heart-warming way. Those involved with caring for Nyla lined up to send her off in love.

“I don’t have the words, in all honestly. I’m just grateful that she’s here, she’s healthy, and she’s doing amazing,” NaKeya Haywood told WLS-TV.

Nyla does have some scarring on her lungs, so she will have to be on oxygen for a while longer at home and will go back to the hospital for regular checkups to ensure everything is continuing to develop well.

"She's a cute little baby but the family is such a great family," Sanchez shared. "Always respectful, always friendly, always cheerful...You look at them and you think of where they've been and where they've come from it just brings happiness to you. And it just makes me, as a neonatologist, think this is why I do what I'm doing. And that's the best part of everything."

A recent study out of Stanford looked at 10,877 premature babies in the U.S. born between 2013 and 2018 and found that those born at 22 weeks had about a 28% chance of living with active treatment.

Nyla has sailed through those odds, however, and continues to beat them.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Micropreemie born at 1 pound leaves Illinois hospital in triumph