Spencerport, N.Y. – Five-year-old Cory Milburn will have a story to tell.
His journey began April 29th 2007 when he arrived 15 weeks early.
“I said there's something not right, so we got in the car and went to the hospital and sure enough the doctor said, ‘you're water broke and you're in labor,’” Cory’s mom Patti Milburn said.
That journey proved to be a tough one.
Cory was underdeveloped and only had a 30% chance to survive.
“A lot of things went through my head at that time, 'what did I do wrong? What's the baby going to be like?'” Milburn said.
Cory spent a month in the hospital fighting for his life, and the family braced themselves for the worst.
“I just couldn't believe that this little baby wasn't going to grow up and wasn’t going to get to leave his mark,” Milburn said.
But once they held Cory in their arms for the first time in June, things began to change.
“We sat with him kind of accepting that this was the end and then all of a sudden his numbers started to get a little better, he was on a ventilator and his numbers went up,” Cory’s dad Mike Milburn said.
Cory went from fighter to survivor.
He's now in kindergarten living a normal life.
Cory can get along and fight with his older brother, something his family says they don’t take for granted.
“We didn't know if we'd ever have these problems,” Mike Milburn said. “It's so much better than the alternative.”
The family keeps a frame on their kitchen wall filled with Cory's pictures.
He only understands a part of his journey.
“It's me from the hospital,” Cory said, describing a small doll which represented Cory as a baby.
“And what did the doctors do?" Asked Cory’s mom.
“Save my life,” Cory said.
Some day Cory will know the whole story.
As a way to give back, the Milburn family volunteers their time at Strong Memorial Hospital.
So far, the family says they've raised $50,000 for the hospital.