Born at Just a 1lb, Baby Gabby Thrives

PHOTO At birth, Gabriella Gil weighed 1 lb. 1 oz. and had only a 15 percent chance of survival.Holtz Children's Hospital
At birth, Gabriella Gil weighed 1 lb. 1 oz. and had only a 15 percent chance of survival. Eight months later, she went home with her mother for the first time.

Gabriella Gil entered this world four months early and weighed just over a pound. Doctors gave her a 15 percent chance of surviving.

Now, at eight months and 12 lbs, she's come a long way for such a little girl.

"It's hard to believe but Gabby actually weighed less than a can of soda," her mother Maruja told Good Morning America. "It's kind of shocking but at the same time there's hope, there's a life, there's a soul in this little baby."

Problems with Maruja's uterus forced her to deliver at 23 weeks, giving little Gabby only a 15 percent chance of survival.

Doctors at Holtz Children's Hospital in Miami diagnosed Gabriella with lung and eye disease, liver failure and bleeding in the brain.

Gabriella was so delicate that her parents couldn't even hold her for two months.

They performed dozens of risky surgeries and procedures, including open heart surgery and laser eye surgery. Luckily, they were all a success.

But perhaps some of the best medicine was having her mom and dad by her side every day.

"She grabbed my finger and I told her, Gabby, we're here together," Maruja said. "Hold on because we're going to be here for the rest of our lives."

Premature Babies Defying the Odds

Gabby isn't the first baby to defy the odds. In 2006, Amillia Taylor, another Miami baby, was born at just 10 ounces, a world record. Today she is three years old and thriving.

In 2005 Sapphire Davis weighed 15 ounces, the size of a small cell phone. Today she's happy and healthy at 37 pounds.

Still, both Amillia and Sapphire require some physical and speech therapy.

Doctors predict a similar future for Gabby. She relies on a breathing tube for now but she's headed home for good and expected to live a normal life.

"There are challenges," said Dr. Shahnaz Duara, neonatologist at Holtz Children's Hospital. "But when you think about what it took to get her here, it's pretty amazing."

"She's our angel," Maruja told GMA. "No matter what you're going through if you believe there's hope and there's love then the miracle is going to happen."