TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
Every Christmas, one East Texas child who has overcome significant health challenges gets to share their miraculous story with the community.
The Children's Miracle Network and Mother Frances Hospitals have chosen 17-month-old Micah Emory Read as their 2014 Miracle Child. Micah was born 14 weeks early in July 2012.
Now, Micah is his family's little miracle. You wouldn't know it by looking at him, but the first 94 days of Micah's life were spent struggling in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Mother Frances Hospital.
"The day of the delivery was very scary because I didn't really want him to come," says Micah's mother, Jamye Read.
Micah's parents, Jamye and Royce, say they still remember the sound of his tiny cry. It gave them so much hope.
"I just knew right then and there that he was going to have a difficult road ahead of him, but I knew he was going to be ok," says Jamye.
Because Micah was born 14 weeks early, he needed heart surgery in just the first few weeks of his life. Because the blood vessels in his eyes were not fully developed, his parents and doctors feared he might go blind.
"He fought hard for his life. He was on oxygen support for a couple of months... he had blood transfusions... IVs," says Jamye.
Doctors at Mother Frances Hospital used an experimental procedure to save his eyesight.
"This is the first time I used that to treat a baby," says Dr. Ming Lu, a retinal surgery specialist at Mother Frances. While the conventional treatment for eye bleeding that causes blindness is to destroy the retina, Lu took another path. He used newly developed medicine to stop the bleeding and allow Micah's eyes to develop.
"It was successful and so far his eyes are good," says Tiffany Taylor, a neonatologist at Mother Frances Hospital.
As the first micro preemie admitted to the Mother Frances NICU, Micah earned the nickname "Mighty Micah."
"Today Micah is a very happy, healthy baby and proof that miracles happen everyday," says Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass.
"You don't know what's coming next. It's a scary time with a child this young and critically ill as Micah was, but we just feel so blessed," says Royce Read, Micah's father.
As this year's Miracle Child, Micah gets the privilege of lighting the Christmas tree on the square in downtown Tyler. That tree lighting ceremony will take place Thursday, December 5th after the Christmas parade. The parade starts at 6 p.m.
Saturday, July 26 2014 2:09 PM EDT2014-07-26 18:09:07 GMT
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