After spending roughly 10 months in the NICU, little Joy Day is spending her first Christmas at home with her family.
Joy, a “micro preemie,” was born weighing only 2 pounds, 1 ounce at MU Women's and Children's Hospital in Columbia on Feb. 2. According to ABC, she was released on October 28 after fighting a long battle for survival in the NICU.
Joy’s mother, Amber, said she’d faced a complicated pregnancy filled with complications, including the fact that her water broke in December, two months before Joy was born.
"There was a blood clot, low-lying placenta, and when we went for the 18-week ultrasound to find out the sex, there was no fluid around her," Day said.
At the time, the Days were living in Jordan with their three other children, working with churches and refugees. Doctors recommended the family return to the United States for further treatment, where Amber was admitted to the hospital at 23 weeks pregnant in the hopes that she would make it to 32 weeks and deliver a stronger, healthier baby.
No such luck. Two weeks and one emergency C-section later, Joy Day entered the world with lots of complications and a low chance of survival.
She made it anyway.
Joy is still on a ventilator and is set to begin speech, physical and occupational therapy to help with any setbacks she faces from her premature birth. Her parents call her a “miracle.”
"There's times when it's busy and hectic but it's a blessing, to see her sleeping and smiling at her brothers and sister…we're very thankful," Day said.