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San Antonio-area mom of 'most premature baby' to ever survive shares story

"I think if we are going to call anything a miracle it is the fact she's the most-pre-termed baby ever known to survive," he said.

A San Antonio area girl may be the most premature baby to ever survive.

For the first time, Courtney Stensrud is showing off her daughter, while also sharing her story of survival to give other families hope.

"I don't think my baby is the miracle baby," she said. "I think they all are miracle babies. There is just no way around it. She is just Lyla."

Stensrud has a truly special bond with her daughter.

"She has amazed us up to this point with everything she has done," the mom said. "She is our little rock star."

A rock star to mom, and a fighter to MEDNAX-affiliated neonatologist Dr. Kaashif Ahmad.

"You don't expect you're the one that is going to be delivering a baby at 21 weeks, because your baby is supposed to be there until 40 weeks," he said.

July 11, 2014 was a day that would be a true testament of faith, hope and strength.

"The sack the baby was in was going down the birth canal," Stensrud said. "So that is not supposed to happen. Your water is just supposed to break."

At that point, though, there was nothing Stensrud could do. Lyla Jean was ready to see the world.

Only halfway through her pregnancy, doctors believed there was no hope.

"There wasn't really anything to offer because nowhere in the world do we offer resuscitation for babies this small, and this preterm," Ahmad said.

Methodist Children's Hospital is where Ahmad did something he's never done before—give Lyla, only slightly bigger than 14 ounces, a fighting chance.

"We put that super tiny tube down and it fit," he said. "If it had not fit, we wouldn't have been able to resuscitate her. But she was just big enough."

The vigorous resuscitation worked. However, her road to recovery was a long and painful one, with the hospital serving as her home for 126 days.

"I think if we are going to call anything a miracle it is the fact she's the most pretermed baby ever known to survive," Ahmad said.

"I don't think I ever saw her as my NICU baby," Stensrud said. "I mean, I know she is a NICU baby, but I have always treated her as if she was normal."

Lyla went home just three days before her due date. Today, she is stronger than ever.

"She is amazing," Stensrud said. "No disabilities."

Now, she is showing Lyla for the first time. By doing so, she said she wants to provide hope to other families who are told the odds are stacked against them.

"There are those moms out there that aren't give the opportunity," she said. "The doctors say, 'No' without looking at the child. 'We are not going to do this.' I think it is unfortunate and it needs to change."

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