Sisters Hospital "micro-preemie" turns 12 years old

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - One of the smallest babies ever born at Sisters of Charity Hospital is now celebrating her twelfth birthday.

Magdalena "Maggie Steinbrenner was considered a "micro-preemie" when she was born. That means she weighed less than one pound, 12 ounces or was born before 26 weeks gestation. In actuality, Maggie was  just 15 ounces -- less than one pound -- and was born 14 weeks early.

She spend nearly five months in the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) before going home in October 2006.

Maggie and her parents, Jim and Pam Steinbrenner, returned to Sisters Hospital Tuesday to celebrate Maggie's twelfth birthday with the nurses and staff who helped her during her NICU journey.

"You tend to forget about the bad things that happen and just focus on how wonderful we feel about having this little girl in our lives, the miracle she's been and how she's grown," said Pam Steinbrenner.

Jim Steinbrenner says he knew his daughter was a fighter the moment he heard her first cry, which he says sounded more like a little squawk than a cry. He says the community at Sisters Hospital will always be part of their lives because of the way they helped Maggie through her fight to survive.

"I can remember a nurse coming up to us that afternoon, giving us a little stuffed turtle, and saying 'slow and steady will win the race,'" said Jim Steinbrenner. "We still have that little stuffed turtle. It means a lot to us."

Maggie is now an healthy and inquisitive sixth-grader who loves science and wants to be a writer when she grows up.

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