Miracle Baby Finally Leaves Hospital After 511 Days

29 Week Premature Baby Is Seen in Hospital With Medical Equipment

Photo: Getty Images

The Gatewood family in Michigan is celebrating as they bring home Charleigh, their 18-month-old baby girl, after 511 days in the hospital. Born with significant health complications, Charleigh spent her entire life up to now in the hospital, and her mother Katie thought this day might never come.

After trying to conceive for nine years, Katie and Gary learned they were pregnant with Charleigh, but that she had extensive health issues, including two heart defects and organs being stuck in her umbilical cord. Making the already difficult situation even worse, Katie tested positive for COVID-19, which meant that her husband couldn’t be present for the birth and Katie didn’t get to see her new baby until three days after she was born.

Charleigh finally got to go home on May 9th, joining her older and younger sisters. Katie and Gary have trained extensively to care for Charleigh at home, assisted by a nurse. To show their appreciation to the hospital that has cared for their daughter for all of her life, the Gatewoods have started an initiative called Charleigh Snuggles and have collected over 17-hundred stuffed animals and 125 pacifiers for donation. Despite their tough journey, Katie credits their strength for helping them get through it, saying, "When it comes to your kids, you're not really given any other option."

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