DANBURY, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – He beat the odds, and now a miracle baby is headed home.
When Connor Florio was born, his parents were told he may not survive.
At less than 11 ounces, Connor was only about the size of a human heart when he was born at 26 weeks.
Mother Jaimie spent more time in the hospital with her newborn son than she did carrying him through pregnancy.
Now at 9-months-old, Connor’s parents say he’s thriving.
“He’s so strong and feisty and came out swinging and crying, and ever since day one, he has been fighting and proving everyone wrong and defying the odds,” said Jaimie.
“We’re leaving with a really healthy child which I didn’t know was going to be possible,” said mother Jaimie Florio. “So I’m just really grateful and relieved.”
Jaimie and her husband knew their child would be small. Ultrasounds proved that 19 weeks into the pregnancy, but they didn’t expect him to be so tiny or come so soon.
“The first time I held him, it was terrifying, but it was also, the greatest moment of my life,” said his father, John.
Connor was diagnosed with chronic lung disease, feeding issues and a developmental disorder.
The preemie spent five months in the NICU at Westchester Medical’s Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, then four months at Blythdale Children’s Hospital where doctors watched over him.
Connor is belived to be one of the smallest babies born in the United States.
“The survival rate for babies under 500 grams is extremely poor, its less than 10 percent,” said Dr. Dennis Davidson of Blythedale. “He was 310 grams.”
Connor is finally home in Danbury, Connecticut, but still hooked up to oxygen and a feeding tube. His height has doubled and he weighs 10 times more than the day he was born – a whopping 10 and half pounds.
On Thursday, one of his primary nurses came for a visit.
“It took forever to get here and to finally see him in his room, it’s just amazing,” said Cherise McMahon, a registered nurse from the Westchester Medical Center.
Connor’s parents credit the doctors and nurses, but say their son’s strength has a lot to do with his survival.
“It’s like, nothing phases him, he just keeps doing his thing,” said mom Jaimie.
Doctors expect Connor will have no issues as he grows, but specialists will still monitor him.
He will be off oxygen and the feeding tube within the next few months and should catch up in size by the time he is 2 years old.