Hope & Healing: Baby expected to live only minutes going on 1 year

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - A year and a half ago, a Bryant mother was faced with unbearable news: doctors told her that her unborn baby would not survive more than a few minutes after delivery.

"The doctor came in and they just got really quiet and he said the baby has an abdominal wall defect," said Leslie Smith. "And I said, 'Is he gonna live? What's gonna happen?' and all he said is, 'I can't say'."

Leslie and her husband Kyle were given two options: terminate the pregnancy or deliver their son knowing there was virtually no chance he would survive longer than a few minutes.

For the Smiths, it was an easy decision.

"I wanted him to feel that I loved him even if it was only for a few minutes," said Leslie.

Leslie went into labor and delivered her son Jameson at UAMS on June 27, 2012. His abdominal organs were outside of his body, he had a heart condition, his diaphragm malformed and his lungs were badly damaged.

"I kissed him and said goodbye to him and I had gotten to hold him for a little while and the doctor just bagged him while I held him and we took a couple of pictures."

Despite the grim prognosis, the Smiths decided to have Jameson transported to Arkansas Children's Hospital.

There, Jameson surprised everyone and lived longer than a few minutes, more than a few hours. In fact, days turned into weeks; weeks into months. He survived heart surgery and then - shocking everyone - nearly a full year later, Jameson was ready to leave the hospital and go home.

Leslie said, "I firmly believe that these stories are not necessarily random. And I understand that we've been given all this technology but I have a faith and believe that God is in control as well and we have to pray for guidance in our treatments and our therapies as well."

Jameson left with a ventilator and a trach and will still need around the clock nursing care for a while but developmentally, he's only a few months behind other toddlers his age. Doctors say all signs point to Jameson eventually being able to live a relatively normal life.

Watch the attached video for more of Jameson's amazing story. Click here if you don't see the video above.