FARGO, N.D. –¬†A family is thanking a doctor who tried a risky experimental surgery to save their newborn son’s life. Their son is is now one year old.

“It’s a miracle,” mom Genevive Saulter told WDAY. “We thought he probably isn’t going to make it 24 hours.”

When little Phoenix Saulter was just 9 days old, he suffered a stroke. Phoenix was rushed from Minot, North Dakota to Fargo, where he was admitted to Sanford Hospital.

Dr. Alexander Drofa knew he had to clear a blood clot from the baby’s brain, but such a surgery had never been performed before on a newborn.

His parents prepared for the worst. Dad Robert read his favorite book out loud at Phoenix’s bedside.

“The only thing I wanted to do was finish that book with him, so all I’d do is read to him as long as he was alive,” said Robert.

Pheonix was taken into surgery. Doctors used the smallest instruments they could find to remove the blood clot.

Though the odds were stacked against him, Phoenix stunned everyone by making a full recovery.

“Absolutely no damage to the brain,” Drofa said.

ABC News reports initially doctors worried Phoenix would suffer developmental delays, but 12 months later, he’s showing no signs of that.

“He’s ahead, if anything,” said Robert. “He walked early, he talked early, he has the biggest personality.”

Phoenix celebrated his first of many birthdays on Jan. 1.

This baby survived to celebrate his 1st birthday thanks to a risk-taking doctor

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