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Baby 'graduates' from NICU after being born at 22 weeks

A 5-month-old baby is celebrating a major milestone.

AL.com reported that staff at University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit held a graduation ceremony for Cullen Potter.

Cullen was born premature at 22 weeks and two days, weighing 13.9 ounces.

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“Our local hospital (in Pensacola, Florida,) flat out said they would not save him before 24 weeks and he had a 2% chance to live,” Cullen’s mother, Molli Potter, said in a Facebook post

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“I opted to transfer (after my husband called 16 hospitals in 3 states to find one that would save him),” Potter said in the post. “They acted like transferring was pointless, that trying to save him was pointless. Well, here he is. Alive and thriving. Never give up.”

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Potter said she transferred to USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Mobile, Alabama, where she and her husband, Robert Potter, visited him from Milton, Florida, every day for 160 days, according to AL.com.

By Aug. 21, he was discharged, but not before his primary care nurse from the day shift, Jewel Barbour, took him around the NICU hallway in a tiny cap and gown from Build-A-Bear as he “graduated” from the facility. Cullen was 5 pounds, 11 ounces and had “no major issues,” his mother said.

Cullen’s mother had nothing but positive things to say about USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital.

“They believe in these small babies and give them the fighting chance they deserve,” Potter wrote on her post. “I pray the more doctors and hospitals see stories like my sons and many more, that they will reconsider their policy and give all the babies the chance they deserve.”

University of South Alabama Children's and Women's Hospital held a graduation for Cullen Potter, 5 months, who was born at 22 weeks and two days March 14 and was discharged from the NICU Aug. 21. (Photo via (Twitter/@USACWHospital via CNN)) (Twitter/@USACWHospital via CNN)

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