The tiniest baby to ever survive a premature birth at a Nebraska hospital was recently discharged – 116 days after being born.

John McClinton, who is called “Buddy” by his parents, was born at 24 weeks and two days, according to FOX TV Stations. He was born at Methodist Women’s Hospital in Omaha, and weighed less than a pound.

Buddy headed home in December and is currently on oxygen.

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“Buddy weighed 14.1 ounces and measured 9.65 inches when he was born on Labor Day, and he is the smallest baby born at the hospital to survive,” staff at Methodist Women’s Hospital announced in a press release on Jan. 16.

Buddy was born with a hole in his heart that doctors were able to sew shut. Despite that, he is expected to live a healthy life.

“By the grace of God and the wonderful medical team, he really just needed to grow,” mom Ashley McCLinton told FOX TV Stations.

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The mother had experienced a miscarriage before she became pregnant with Buddy. At around 20 weeks, Buddy stopped growing in the womb and McClinton’s blood pressure increased rapidly.

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

Buddy sleeping in stroller

When her baby was finally discharged from Methodist Women’s Hospital, Ashley described the day as being “bittersweet.”

“We have formed such close relationships with all of the people that took care of him for [these] 116 days,” she explained to FOX TV Stations. “So it was a joyful day. But also, you know, a lot of tears, too, because those people that cared for him so well have become like a second family to us.”

Buddy with his mom and dad

McClinton hopes that her family’s story reminds couples who have experienced pregnancy losses or preterm births that they’re not alone.

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“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 [being] born really early,” she said.

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