Baby Who Was So Premature His Head Was the Size of a Golf Ball Defies the Odds, Turns 1

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Nov 17, 2015   |   3:37PM   |   London, England

When Carlo Cucchi was born, doctors said he had just a 20-percent chance of survival.

But the little boy who was born with a head the size of a golf ball is celebrating his first birthday, The Daily Mail reported this week.

Carlo was born very prematurely after only 24 weeks in the womb, according to the report. At just 1 pound 6 ounces, he was tinier than his teddy bear.

“We just kept saying how nice it’d be if he became as big as his teddy or even if he got so big that he could hold it,” his father, also Carlo Cucchi, said. “We never even thought we’d get to celebrate his birthday, it just seemed so distant, so it was definitely an emotional time for us – it’s been such a struggle.”

Baby Carlo spent four months in intensive care. He had to have his left leg amputated after developing a blood clot, according to the report. At one point, his parents were told that he may not live through the night, the report states.

But Baby Carlo fought for his life. This fall, the British family is celebrating his first birthday at home with a cake and well-wishes from friends.

Baby Carlo is finally bigger than his teddy bear, a toy that he throws around and takes to bed, his dad said.

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Though he is still small for his age, he is healthy – “and that’s the most important thing,” his mother, Sarah, said.

Very premature babies like Carlo are living to thrive at better rates than ever before, thanks to modern medicine.

Tragically, babies at his birth age can still legally be aborted in some U.S. states.