SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — September is National Infant Mortality Month.
In the U.S., nearly six babies out of every 1,000 born won't make it to their first birthday. A large number of those children are born premature.
WREG's Troy Washington has the miraculous story of a Southaven child who beat the odds stacked against him from birth.
Little Dylan Franklin continues to surpass expectations.
"A lot of people don't give babies his size a chance, especially how small he was and the fact that the doctor's told us he's gonna die," Dylan's father, Dedrick Franklin, said.
Delivered at 6 months, baby Dylan made his grand entrance weighing only about 13 ounces, no bigger than a mango.
"He could literally fit right here, he was really small," Paige Franklin, Dylan's mom, said.
These parents faced decisions like if he's delivered and not breathing, should doctor's revive? It was a tough dilemma for parents who simply wanted to be thrilled about welcoming their first child into the world.
While Dylan's parents worried about the worse that could happen, they underestimated just how hard the little boy was willing to fight for his own life.
"First thing I noticed he was here he started..." Dedrick Franklin said, mimicking the newborn's little cry.
"It was the smallest little cry. I didn't expect to hear him cry, but he cried," Paige Franklin added.
But even after Dylan put to rest doubts by making it into the world alive, his future still seemed dim.
At first he was having problems breathing on his own. He stayed in the hospital for a while, each day proving that doctors' and their expectations could not compete with his will to survive and thrive.
"'He may not live through the night,' he makes it to two more nights," Paige Franklin said.
For the Franklins, it was faith that got them through.
"Every day he amazes us."
"Every day he does something to make us laugh."
Last Sunday Dylan turned 1, proving everyone wrong who said he wouldn't see the day and making these parents proud.
"At times I felt like giving up," Dedrick Franklin said, "but I said as long as he's fighting I need to keep on fighting right along with him."
Now the Franklins want to make sure other parents know it's possible to beat the odds.
"There's hope because look at him, nobody gave him a chance at all."
Doctors told Dylan's parents that he could face some developmental delays, but he was just checked out last week and everything seems fine. He can see, he can hear, and he is functioning just fine. He's now 14 pounds.