RICHMOND, Va (WRIC)– Kaleb Graves, the young Dinwiddie boy who’s been hospitalized since he was born prematurely and earned the nickname “Baby Buns” after his parents’ baby announcement went viral, celebrated his six-month birthday on Wednesday.
8News Reporter Kristin Smith has been following his family’s journey from the beginning.
It started with a viral video of Baby Buns’ father sobbing when he learned he was going to be a dad.
Little Kaleb came into the world against all odds. He was born at just 23 weeks and weighed less than one pound.
“To make it to this day, I am truly grateful,” says Baby Buns’ mother, Dana Griffin-Graves. ” Eight pounds, five ounces; it’s amazing the journey that we’ve endured over these last six months.”
It has been an emotional roller coaster with lots of lows. There were times when doctors told the family Kaleb might not make it. But every time the little guy faced a scary health challenge, he surprised them all.
As for his developing personality …
“He’s a little stubborn,” Dana said, laughing. “Probably a lot stubborn.”
Maybe that helped Baby Buns overcome one of his biggest obstacles: He’s no longer on a ventilator.His tiny lungs are growing stronger with the help of a CPAP machine.
“He is now breathing on his own and the CPAP machine actually just keeps his lungs open, in between breaths,” Dana added. “So he’s been on that for 10 days and we are so thankful because it was a big hurdle that we were waiting to cross.”
Dana insists Kaleb is a good baby. He doesn’t cry much and has learned to roll over on his own.
As for his health, like a lot of preemies, Kaleb suffers from chronic lung disease. But so far, he’s not showing signs of other serious complications that many premature infants endure.
Mom believes her little prince is blessed.
“We’re praying for the day that he is released from the hospital,” she said. “I believe we’re going to have a parade from Richmond to Dinwiddie.”