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One of the Smallest Babies Ever Born (at Just 10 Ounces) Beats the Odds and Goes Home From Hospital

One of the Smallest Babies Ever Born Goes Home From Hospital
Megan Smith and her daughter, E'layah Faith
Courtesy of Levine Children's Hospital

02/12/2016 AT 11:40 AM EST

Megan Smith, 29, says she always believed her baby would make it. Doctors in Charlotte, North Carolina, weren't so sure.

E'layah Faith weighed barely 10 ounces and 10 inches when she was born at just 26 weeks. That's smaller than a soda can.

One of the Smallest Babies Ever Born (at Just 10 Ounces) Beats the Odds and Goes Home From Hospital| Babies, Real People Stories

E'layah Faith

Courtesy of Levine Children's Hospital

"A lot of babies at that size – we can't even get them out of the delivery room, but she was incredibly vigorous and active," Dr. Andrew Herman, a neonatologist and Interim Chief Medical Officer at Levine Children's Hospital tells PEOPLE. "She was teeny tiny. Looking at her size, we realized it would be an incredibly difficult challenge to keep her alive and to get her to thrive and grow."

Thanks to a specially concocted diet created just for her and a team of more than two dozen doctors and nurses, after four months in the hospital, E'layah now weighs more than five pounds and just spent her first night at home with her mom and dad, Smith's fiancé, Eric Pegues.

One of the Smallest Babies Ever Born (at Just 10 Ounces) Beats the Odds and Goes Home From Hospital| Babies, Real People Stories

Courtesy of Levine Children's Hospital

Smith says, "It's wonderful. I've longed for this moment for so long. I wasn't sure we would ever get home! She's adapting pretty well, she's looking around trying to figure out her surroundings. She's very alert."

Dr. Herman says baby E'layah could still face challenges. Cerebral palsy is a possibility. Learning disabilities may be an issue. But he says so far, she has beat the odds and he's hoping she continues to surprise everyone.

One of the Smallest Babies Ever Born (at Just 10 Ounces) Beats the Odds and Goes Home From Hospital| Babies, Real People Stories

E'layah Faith

Courtesy of Levine Children's Hospital

"I probably would have given her a one percent chance of surviving and now to see her go home...I think of the birthdays, the holidays they'll spend together – she'll go out for Halloween, maybe someday have a family of her own. They may forget us – and that's okay – but she'll have a happy life."

One of the Smallest Babies Ever Born (at Just 10 Ounces) Beats the Odds and Goes Home From Hospital| Babies, Real People Stories

Megan Smith, Eric Pegues and E'layah Faith with staff from Levine Children's Hospital.

Courtesy of Levine Children's Hospital

Smith says she will forever be grateful to the team that saved her baby.

"There was never any doubt in my mind that she'd make it," the proud mom says.
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