BUFFALO, N.Y. – We are celebrating Western New York and one girl who you might say is a living miracle.
When Maggie Steinbrenner was born twelve years ago, she weighed 15 ounces. Fast forward to Tuesday, and she just celebrated her 12th birthday.
"Gonna go home, maybe actually go for a walk because it's such a beautiful day...and just kind of show Maggie the trees and everything that she hasn't seen in her short little life," said Maggie’s mom, Pam Steinbrenner in 2006.
Pam and Jim Steinbrenner brought Maggie home the day before the October storm. It was nearly five months after she was born one-hundred days early.
"My partner brought her in from the delivery room. She weighed 450 grams or 15 ounces. So, she was the size of my thumb," recalls Dr. Rob Dukarm, Chief of Neonatology at Sisters Hospital.
As a micro preemie, Maggie was given long odds. Tuesday, she celebrated her 12th birthday at Sisters Hospital reuniting with the NICU team that helped her survive those first few months.
"I remember being very nervous, excited, we actually have videos like where I was talking in the delivery room with no idea what we were about to face, " says Maggie’s dad, Jim Steinbrenner.
"Then we heard this little squawk," remembers Maggie’s mom.
The Steinbrenners also got to meet the Beck family. Bennett Beck was born at 29 weeks weighing just one pound nine ounces. He's already gained a pound.
The two families bonded over their shared experiences, and for Bennett's parents, Maggie showed them how a baby born so little can have such a bright future.
"I could see a lot of the same emotions, it brought back memories of what I'm sure we experienced during our time," said Jim Steinbrenner.
"You look back on it, and I always say that there's worse things than being born at 25 weeks because she did amazing," says Pam Steinbrenner.
For Maggie's family, it's also important to stay connected to the staff at the NICU here at Sisters so that they can continue to show their appreciation.