Baby heads home after spending first 11 months in hospital

Posted at 3:08 PM, Jul 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-26 15:08:31-04

BOSTON (WFXT/CNN) - A mother and father left the hospital with their first child Tuesday. But he's not a newborn; he's almost a year old.

Baby Eamonn's premature birth left him hospitalized since September.

"I can't really even describe all of the emotions that I'm feeling right now," said Meghan Mullaney,

Eamonn was born extremely prematurely, at just 21 weeks. It meant his body was underdeveloped and caused issues with his lungs, his intestines.

It also meant surgery and a ventilator. For doctors at Franciscan Children's Hospital, it's been one challenge after another.

"We've been very slowly working with him and getting him bigger," Dr. Elisabeth Schainker said. "Getting his lungs stronger, and now, he's at the point where he can be off the ventilator for about eight hours at a time, and he's ready and stable enough to go home."

At the same time, they've been readying Eamonn's parents for the day they could bring him home.

"I had no idea that I had it in me," Mullaney said. "And I had no idea that a little baby could endure that and come out like this either. He amazes me every single day."

Eamonn, now 11 months old, will still need specialized care. He'll get it at home in a nursery left long overdue for his arrival.

The Mullaney family said they decided for their first night at home together, it will be just the three of them.

"Now I get to wake up with him every morning," his mother said. "I get to put him to bed every night, and I just can't wait."

Copyright 2017 WFXT via CNN. All rights reserved.