Hospital's smallest baby to ever survive goes home after 116 days in care

John "Buddy" McClinton went home after spending 116 days in a Nebraska hospital. (Credit: Ashley McClinton)

One of the smallest babies ever to be born at a Nebraska hospital finally went home to be with his family after spending 116 days in care. 

Ashley McClinton said her son, John "Buddy" McClinton, weighed less than a pound when he was born at 24 weeks and two days last September.

"He was the smallest baby to be born and survived at the hospital where we had him, which is Methodist Women's Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska," McClinton told FOX Television Stations. 

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"By the grace of God and the wonderful medical team, he really just needed to, to grow," she continued. 

Despite having some medical complications including a hole in his heart that was sewn up, McClinton said Buddy is expected to live a healthy life, although he's currently on oxygen at home. 

Ashley McClinton and her family. (Credit: Ashley McClinton)

He went home last December. 

"The day we brought him home, it was pretty bittersweet because we have formed such close relationships with all of the people that took care of him for this 116 days," she added. "So it was a joyful day. But also, you know, a lot of a lot of tears, too, because those people that cared for him so well have become like a second family to us. It was, you know, very happy day, but also bittersweet to leave that chapter behind."

McClinton said before Buddy came along, she had suffered a miscarriage. She said Buddy's pregnancy was normal up until about 20 weeks, when he stopped growing and her blood pressure spiked. 

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She knew Buddy was going to come much earlier than expected, and it concerned her. 

John "Buddy" McClinton (Credit: Ashley McClinton)

"What went through my mind was, ‘Lord, I cannot lose another child. I cannot bury another baby,’" she said. 

McClinton, who went through multiple rounds of in vitro, said she hopes her story encourages other people who are having trouble with fertility. 

"I think our story hits people who are struggling, who have either really struggled with infertility or struggled with having lost a child, or struggled with a baby born really early," she said. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.