PLATTEVILLE, Colo. (CBS4) – This time last year, the Winnes from Platteville were worried. Their baby girl was in the NICU, born more than three months early. One year later, baby Ava Jean is thriving.

“Spunky, determined,” said Bobbie Winne, Ava’s mother.

Bobbie and Ava Winne (credit: CBS)

Ava is 13 months old and nearly always smiling.

“She’s honestly like a little, regular baby now, just crawling around the house and eating Christmas cookies,” said Bobbie.

Bobbie is beyond grateful because Ava’s arrival was traumatic. CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh first met Bobbie in December 2019.

“She was born at 25 weeks,” an emotional Bobbie cried back then.

(credit: CBS)

Ava was a foot long and weighed just over a pound, a micro preemie, when she entered the world.

“She’s just been such a fighter ever since she was born,” Bobbie explained as she wiped away tears.

Ava spent 114 days in the NICU at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. Bobbie and husband, James, took Ava home in March, knowing they had an uphill battle.

“Beat all the odds. They were stacked against her and she beat all of them,” said Bobbie on Tuesday with a squirming, smiling Ava on her lap.

Bobbie said Ava is off oxygen, her vision is great and she’s growing. She’ll have surgery to fix a dislocated hip, but Ava is awesome.

(credit: Kathlene Woltemath Photography)

“We have so much to be thankful for,” said Bobbie.

This Christmas, Ava had a photo taken at home sitting by the decorated tree. Her first Christmas photo was taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the hospital.

“We have that picture as a reminder just of what miracles can happen around this time,” Bobbie said.