CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Celebrating a first birthday is a major milestone, but for E'Layah Faith Pegues, it's nothing short of a miracle.
E'layah was born 14 weeks early and weighed just 10 ounces, making her the smallest surviving baby ever born at Levine Children's Hospital and one of the smallest babies born in the world.
E'Layah's mother, Megan Smith, said she knew right away that her daughter wouldn't have it easy. She knew E'Layah would have to fight to survive but she never gave up hope.
"Every day is getting better and better and it's such a miracle, " she said.
Levine Children's Hospital had a very big hand in helping that miracle along. Approaching her first birthday, E'Layah undergoes physical therapy twice a week with Dr. Laurel Mogensen at the Levine Children's Hospital Pediatric Therapy Center.
"When she first started she was just laying on her back," Dr. Mogensen said.
In the three months since their rehabilitation sessions started, Dr. Mogensen says E'Layah has made incredible progress.
She can now roll over and nearly sit on her own.
The hope is one day E'Layah's struggles will be a distant memory.
"It's going to take a minute for her to catch up but I know she'll get there," mom says.
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