TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A baby born prematurely at a Florida hospital is headed home to the island of St. Thomas.

Baby Alanie Lettsome spent the first five months of his life at Broward Health Medical Center. His mother Graysel Stuart sought care after cervical incompetence put her at high risk of an early delivery, the medical center said.

Three days later, Stuart delivered her son during her 23rd week of pregnancy. Alanie was concerned a micro preemie, weighing only 17 ounces.

“Babies born this early are at a higher risk for major complications. While Stuart said at times the situation was overwhelming, she appreciated her medical team’s honesty about the situation so she could be mentally prepared for any potential complications,” the medical center said in a news release.

Alaine needed to be on a ventilator but the hospital said he did not face some of the dangerous complications that can be common in premature babies, such as bleeding on the brain or intestinal complications. 

After spending 170 days in the hospital’s NICU, Alaine grew to 9 pounds and was ready to go home.

(Broward Health Medical Center)

“At Broward Health, I felt loved,” Stuart said. “They made sure I was taken care of mentally and physically, from ensuring I was well-fed to taking me outside for walks.”  

To learn more about Broward Health’s neonatal intensive care unit, visit the Salah Foundation Childrens Hospital.