Mom of 'preemie' baby feels 'gratitude in the midst of chaos' this Thanksgiving

Spending the holiday in a hospital is not exactly what Cecilia and Boris Lopez envisioned a year ago. But mom Cecilia Lopez says "Gratitude looks different this year."

This Thanksgiving, the Lopez family of Gardena will hold their six-month-old baby girl in their arms. They will cradle baby Ellyannah, sing to her and eventually put her to bed. The location is the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Six months ago their baby girl was unable to get nourishment in utero and an emergency C-section was performed. The baby girl with big brown eyes weighed just twelve ounces at birth. Her chances of survival were slim to none. 

Despite her extremely tiny size, her mother says at birth, the baby screamed and cried, as if to loudly express her fight to live. 

The baby almost died a few times in the first month of life. But doctors revived her, and baby Ellyannah fought to live. 

Today, her parents say she is a miracle.

On the eve of Thanksgiving, FOX 11 was invited to the NICU at Cedars. It’s a joyful place, filled with babies, moms, dads and caring doctors and nurses. 

Miraculously, Baby Ellyannah has grown from 12 ounces to 12 pounds in her first six months of life. Her right lung still needs to fully develop and she’s hooked up to monitors evaluating her vital signs. But her prognosis is very upbeat. Doctors hope she can go home at the end of this year or the beginning of next.

Cecilia Lopez and Boris Lopez said they wanted to thank the doctors and nurses at Cedars for their daughter’s extraordinary care. They also wanted to encourage other parents of premature babies to maintain hope.

At any point along the way, the Lopez family know they could’ve lost their baby. 

But they didn’t. 

So they will spend this Thanksgiving counting their blessings, especially "Baby Elly."

"We have gratitude in the midst of chaos," said the family.