Cullen Potter was born at 22 weeks weighing only 13.9 ounces.
His father Robert recalled to ABC News that their local hospital told him and his wife that Cullen had a two percent chance to live. The hospital wouldn’t deliver a baby under 24 weeks.
The Potter family called 16 different hospitals before finding the University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile, Alabama, who delivered Cullen and housed him in the NICU for 160 days.
Cullen was in the NICU for such an extended period that his family, nurses, and doctors gave him a full graduation ceremony when he got cleared for discharge.
“We were [at Build-A-Bear] with our older son and my wife was looking and thought it would fit Cullen. The hat was actually a little big.”
While most NICU babies get sendoffs, Cullen was the first to get a full ceremony complete with a gown and celebratory music.
Renee Rogers, the NICU’s nurse manager, said:
“Our families spend a lot of time here and we become family with each other. When it’s time to go home, it’s emotional not just for the families but for the staff as well.”
Although Cullen is still very tiny, he is doing very well. Robert said:
“We’re relieved to have everybody home together. With everything that could have happened, he is here and thriving.”