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UPDATE: Preemie born 1.5 lbs, goes home

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Photos courtesy Gundersen Health System Photos courtesy Gundersen Health System

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – An update on the story we told you about earlier this week on Hope Dobson, the preemie baby who weighed 1.5 pounds when she was born in January.

Gundersen Health System released Hope on Friday afternoon from the hospital. They provided these photos of Hope and her parents, Matt and Cheyenne, departing the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Baby Hope had spent her first days in the NICU since her birth on January 27.

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Born at just one an a half pounds, 17 weeks before her due date, a Gundersen Health System preemie will get to go home this week.

Hope Dobson was born January 27 – just halfway through her mom's pregnancy.

For some perspective, she was the size of a Beanie Baby at birth.

Hope's mom, Cheyenne, had medical complications through the first four months of her pregnancy. When she gave birth to Hope, doctors put the baby on breathing machines, special medication and nutrition plans.

Cheyenne and dad, Matt Olsen, said their daughter is a fighter.

"(Doctors) told me, they're like, she's not coming out moving. If she (doesn't) come out moving, don't freak out. If she (doesn't) come out trying to breathe, don't freak out,” Dobson said. “But she came out moving by herself and she was trying to breathe. So right then and there we knew we had a fighter."

Dr. Kate Richmond, medical director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, said preemies are usually released from the hospital close to, or after their due date.

Hope is three months old and is still a month away from her projected birthday.

Richmond said it's the earliest Gundersen has released a preemie born as small as Hope.

"Well, I think it's a matter of technology and teamwork – as cliche as that sounds. (Hope) had had an extraordinary team of multidisciplinary specialists who have been watching every breath that she has taken for the last three months,” Richmond said.

She'll need an oxygen tank and regular doctor visits, but Hope will get to go home Friday.

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