ORLANDO, Fla. - Born at just 22 weeks old, Kresten Mason weighed one pound and was so small, he could fit into his mother's hand.
Parents Jennifer and Keegan said having a baby prematurely was a heartbreaking experience. While they were excited, they were very nervous and unsure if Kresten would make it.
"It tore me apart. It was hard," Jennifer said. "You’re happy because he’s alive, but then you’re scared -- scared to see him that small, scared because you don’t know how to touch them or what to do for them."
Kresten’s road to recovery hasn’t been an easy one. He has had multiple surgeries and needs a tracheostomy tube to help him breathe.
"Sometimes you make two steps forward, and one day you make four steps back," Keegan added.
At three months, Kresten's parents received a setback.
"They told us to put him on 'do not resuscitate,'" Jennifer explained.
However, this resilient family never gave up hope, and after nine months in the hospital, Kresten now weighs 15 pounds and is getting ready to go home.
The Polk County parents and Kresten's older brother have spent many hours in the Ronald McDonald House near the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, so they can be close to their baby. They have also spent many days apart, but now they’re finally going to be together as a family.
"Oh my god, we’re so excited, but nervous at the same time," Jennifer said, "but so thankful to be able to bring him home."
Kresten is described as a "miracle baby" with a lot more fight left to give.