E’Layah Faith Pegues, one of the world’s smallest surviving babies born at Carolinas Medical Center and cared for at Levine Children's Hospital, has reached a milestone. On Sept. 23, 2016, she turned 1.

Child Health, News | one year ago

From 10 Ounces to 10 Pounds: Our Smallest Baby Turns 1

E’Layah Faith Pegues, one of the world’s smallest surviving babies born at Carolinas Medical Center and cared for at Levine Children's Hospital, has reached a milestone. On Sept. 23, 2016, she turned 1.

Editor's note: Read our first story about E'Layah's birth. 

E'Layah has surprised everyone by beating the odds – going from just 10 ounces at birth to 10 pounds on her first birthday. To celebrate her miraculous first year of life, E’Layah’s care team at Levine Children’s Hospital threw her a fun-filled birthday party at the hospital.

Amanda McDowell, MD, E'Layah's pediatrician, said she knew she couldn’t miss the chance to celebrate her smallest patient. She says she’s happy to see how well little E’Layah’s done since she was born.

“E’Layah’s progress over this past year has truly been remarkable,” says Dr. McDowell. “She really doesn't have many of the health issues we typically see. Although she is still behind on her developmental milestones compared to a full-term 12 month old, she is definitely making progress with physical therapy.”

Megan, E’Layah’s mother, sees her baby’s progress firsthand every day. More than anything, she loves watching her little one grow.

“At first, she could only wear preemie clothes. Now, she’s wearing clothes for 3-month-olds,” Megan says. “And she’s gone from not saying a peep to talking my head off!”

E'Layah’s grown and learned a whole lot in one short year. Dr. McDowell says she, herself, has also grown from the experience.

“I’ve learned a lot from observing how E'Layah's mother has coped with taking care of such a small baby,” she says. “It can definitely be overwhelming, but Megan always has such a positive attitude, even when there are setbacks. She truly is an advocate for her daughter, and I believe that’s made a great difference in E'Layah's progress.”

As E’Layah looks forward to a bright future, mom Megan reflects on a few of her daughter’s favorite things. E’Layah loves to eat bananas mixed with berries. And when it comes to music, she can’t get enough of “Wheels on the Bus.” As for her favorite outfit? “Her birthday suit, hands down,” laughs Megan. “She loves to be free!”