It was the kind of joy that was so pure, it was contagious. Arkell Graves and his wife Dana Griffin-Graves of Virginia went viral for this video of Arkell losing it upon learning Dana was five months pregnant--after four miscarriages and a stillborn baby over 17 years of trying to get pregnant.
But tragedy struck yet again when Dana's blood pressure soared to dangerously high levels shortly after the pregnancy announcement. Had she continued her pregnancy, she ran the risk of losing her life. She was forced to have a C-section at just 24 weeks pregnant, even though the child she and her husband had so badly wanted had a mere 5% chance of surviving.
Kaleb Graves was born in October 2015 weighing just 13 oz.
The start of his life was unlike most other babies'. He underwent heart surgery, fluid drainage from his brain, and months of incubation for chronic lung disease. His weight slowly went up, to 6 lbs, 4 oz at five months old; healthy newborns often weigh more than that at birth.
But his parents switched off spending time with their only biological child in the hospital, and their adopted older son Keelyn also made visits to bond with his new brother.
One year since his arrival, Kaleb weighs 13 pounds--and finally has become healthy enough to go home.
"We have to thank our Wonderful Neonatal Team at MCV/VCU Neonatal Medical staff for the care provided for our #BabyBuns," Dana wrote on the Facebook page she and Arkell kept updated throughout Kaleb's year-long hospital stay.
Dressed in a suit and graduation cap and gown--because he graduated from the NICU--Kaleb posed for photos with his thankful family--and he had a hero's welcome when he entered his house for the first time.
with his nana
"At this very moment, all of my men are asleep under the same roof. Some days I really didn't think that would happen," Dana added to her latest Facebook post.
Congratulations to the happy, healthy family!