By Ken Molestina

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RICHARDSON (CBSDFW.COM) — A reunion celebrating life was held at Methodist Richardson Medical Center on Tuesday to coincide with World Prematurity Day.

Families, and babies who have successfully overcome the challenges associated with pre-term birth came together to share their stories and send a strong message to other families facing the same obstacles.

Myrna Contreras gave birth to her daughter Ruby in her 22nd week of pregnancy. Ruby is the youngest pre-term baby ever born at Methodist Richardson. She was given a 5 percent chance of survival and today she is a healthy 8-month-old baby girl with a bright future.

Contreras said, “She is our miracle baby… yeah.”

Dr. Lilian St. John heads the NICU at Methodist Richardson and she along with her team cared for baby Ruby. She said cases like hers are happening more often thanks to research and medical advancements.

Dr. St. John said “When Ruby came out she was a fighter from the get go.”

It is estimated that 15 million children are born premature across the globe every year, and still doctors aren’t certain exactly what causes it, according to Dr. St. John. Medical experts say pre-term births are also considered to be the leading cause of deaths in newborns.

The families who participated in the reunion event wore purple to represent their journey and give support to other parents who are experiencing the challenges of having a pre-mature birth.

Contreras said her faith and full confidence in her doctors is the reason why her baby Ruby is doing as well as she is.

She said, “When I see here now I can see how amazing is God.”

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