Last year, the world fell in love with Arkell Graves and Dana Griffin-Graves, after the video of Dana’s surprise pregnancy announcement to her husband went viral.
Arkell and Dana had been trying to conceive for over 17 years, and had gone through four miscarriages and one stillbirth before deciding 5 years ago to end their quest. They adopted a son, Keelyn, and finally had their happy little family.
Dana had been working out regularly with her friends last year, but didn’t seem to be losing weight like they were. She went to see a doctor, and was completely surprised and overjoyed to find out that she had finally gotten pregnant. Considering her history, Dana was anticipating the worst, so she didn’t tell anybody until she was 5 months pregnant and was sure that her child would be born.
Kaleb Graves arrived far sooner than Arkell and Dana expected. He was due in February, but was born prematurely on October 20, 2015, just weeks after the announcement video went viral. At the time of his birth, Kaleb weighed just 13oz.
He was held in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) while undergoing vital treatment. Like many premature babies, Kaleb suffered from chronic lung disease, as his lungs weren’t able to fully develop while in the womb. He had surgery to repair a hole in his heart, and was using a non-invasive ventilator. Doctors expected that he’d be able to leave the NICU by March.
There were a few medical setbacks, and Kaleb’s health was not improving as steadily as doctors hoped. He needed a tracheostomy tube inserted in his throat to assist breathing, and had a g-tube put in his stomach to help eating. It would take another 6 months before he would be healthy enough to go home.
At last, almost an entire year since his birth, Kaleb was ready to go home on October 11th. Arkell and Dana were, of course, ecstatic with the news, and decided to throw a little celebration to recognise their son’s ‘graduation’. They bought him an absolutely adorable cap and gown, and with the doctors and nurses who had spent a year bringing him to health, celebrated the amazing moment they finally got to bring home their son.
The photos are so, so adorable! Kaleb makes such a great little grad, and we’re so excited that he’s finally been discharged from NICU. We wish the absolute best for Arkell, Dana, Keelyn, and Kaleb!