WHITEHOUSE (KYTX) - Looking at him now, you'd never know that not long ago, little Micah Read was fighting for his life.
"We didn't know from day to day if he was going to live," Micah's mother, Jamye Read, said. "We just held on to our faith in God, and our hope and our faith in the doctors."
Micah was born 14 weeks early, weighing only 2 pounds and 4 ounces; his head just the size of a baseball. Even the smallest diaper fell off his tiny body.
"We were scared to just touch him," Micah's father, Royce Read, said. "He's so small, so fragile."
Micah spent the first 3 1/2 months of his life in the neonatal intensive care unit at Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, hooked up to IVs, ventilators and feeding tubes, and undergoing heart surgery and multiple eye procedures to fix problems caused by being born too early.
"That was a very scary time," Jamye Read said. "As a mother, you don't want your child to ever have to have surgery, and to see this tiny, tiny little baby have to go through that -- it's just horrible to see."
Doctors gave him a two-thirds chance of survival.
"We knew that this was the beginning of a long road, and it was very scary because we still didn't know if he was going to ultimately survive or if he would ultimately have any life-altering condition," Royce Read said.
But thanks to Children's Miracle Network (CMN), who provided funds and medical equipment to keep Micah at a local hospital, "Mighty Micah" -- as his family now calls him -- fought back and overcame the obstacles.
CMN helps provide care for 10 million sick kids every year by raising money for children's hospitals across the country. Some are battling cancer or other diseases, some are suffering from a traumatic injury, and others require constant care because they were born with a genetic disease or too early -- like Micah.
Today, he's a happy, healthy 22-month old, who gets to just enjoy being a kid.
"He's just wonderful," Jamye Read said. "He's a little miracle."
"He is an amazing kid," Royce Read said. "He is the joy of our life. There's nothing that is holding him back, he is full of life, he's a social kid, he loves to play, he loves baseball."
As the 2014 "Miracle Family," the Reads say they're honored to help raise money for other families in need.
"We're honored to now pay that forward and try to raise money, try to help out another family that we don't even know," Royce Read said.