Born at just 23 weeks and weighing in at a mere one pound three ounces, the precious little bundle spent almost 25 weeks in the neonatal unit at the Royal Preston Hospital.
Today Carla Sofia is celebrating her seventh birthday and leading a full life, playing the piano, developing her Spanish skills and learning to ride a horse.
“We thank God for the team at the neonatal unit at RPH,” said mum Carla. “They made it possible that our little miracle came home.
“It may sound corny and a cliche, but there isn’t a day goes by when we don’t think of this team and, in that sense, they will always be a part of our lives. Thank you to the neonatal unit for believing in life.”
Carla Sofia - full name Carla Sofia Brandrick Rincon - was born at Christmas 2010 and was one of the smallest babies to be born at RPH (right). She survived numerous infections and health complications due to her size, including chronic lung problems, digestive issues and a possible loss of sight and hearing.
Dad Alex said: “While no guarantee could have been given of Carla Sofia surviving, or of the quality of life she would have, we always had the knowledge that there was no place better for her than the neonatal unit at Preston.
“The dedication, hard work, concern and love from all of the team there would always bring comfort to us.”
The couple, who were living in Fulwood at the time, but now live in Canada, say they were helped through stressful and, at times, sad moments along the way.
A spokesman for RPH said: “Carla Sofia is a very happy girl who loves to read and is learning to play the piano. Her family are extremely proud of her and the progress that she has made and the obstacles that she has overcome.”