Smallest surviving baby at Carolinas HealthCare System goes home from hospital

E'Layah Pegues weighs 5 pounds, 8 ounces now

- One of the world's smallest surviving babies, born in Charlotte, is finally home from the hospital. E’Layah Faith Pegues weighed only 10 ounces at birth. She’s four and a half months old now and weighs 5 pounds and 8 ounces.

Dr. Jessica Clarke-Pounder, a neonatologist at Levine Children’s Hospital, said, “It’s a miracle that she (E’Layah) survived even today, so I think had she been born 10 or 15 years ago, it’s very unlikely that she would’ve survived.”

Doctors have been using a special formula to feed E’Layah and a feeding tube to help get her extra nutrients. They say better nutrition and advances in ventilators are helping more premature babies like E’Layah survive.

Still doctors describe E’Layah’s prognosis as "guarded." They say she will have some challenges throughout her life, but she's already growing and developing well.

Now that the day finally came for E’Layah to go home from the hospital, her mother, Megan Smith, is emotional. Smith said, “I’m nervous. I got anxiety, but this moment is here, and I’m excited.”

Smith has been through so much. About five months into her pregnancy, her blood pressure was high and she almost had two strokes. And then there was the moment when she stopped feeling her baby move, and doctors had to perform an emergency C-section.

The journey has been long, filled with emotion, and it all builds up to E’Layah’s big day, going home from the hospital. Smith said, “I just won everything right now. This is my prize.”

Smith is looking forward to getting to know E’Layah. She said, “I want to know who she is because she is feisty. She fought to be here.”

Elayah has two older brothers. They’re ages 5 and 11, and they haven’t seen her since the day she was born.

Hospital officials tell us E’Layah is the smallest surviving baby born at Carolinas HealthCare System.

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