When you receive bad news from a medical professional, it’s sometimes best to accept it as-is without trying to fight it. But if your instincts are telling you otherwise, it often pays off to hold on to hope and challenge the doctors.

That was what one couple decided to do when they were told that their baby would be stillborn. They even decided to throw a party… but few would’ve expected what would happen next.

New York’s Johanna Morton took this picture of her daughter, Clara Ray, watching snow fall for the first time. It’s the last thing that doctors would have expected her baby to be able to do.

1-stillborn-partyFacebook / Prayers for Clara Ray

That’s because she wasn’t even supposed to be alive. On December 23, 2015, just 12 weeks into her pregnancy, doctors told Johanna that something was wrong with her baby’s heart. “She’s probably going to be stillborn,” they said.

2-stillborn-partyFacebook / Prayers for Clara Ray

Despite this hopeless prognosis, Johanna decided to move forward with the pregnancy. According to doctors, the baby’s heart with slowing down with each passing day. It wouldn’t be long, they thought, until the baby died.

3-stillborn-partyFacebook / Johanna Morton

Even New York’s top children’s hospital had never seen anything like Clara Ray’s unique heart defect. “It was up to her to fight,” said Johanna. “The only thing we could do was pray. We continued to celebrate our baby’s life, no matter what the odds were against her. We had a reveal party, a baby shower, and even made up a beautiful nursery.”

4-stillborn-partyFacebook / Johanna Morton

When Christmas came, Johanna dreamed of her baby experiencing it, singing “All I Want for Christmas is You” to her.

Against the odds, Clara Ray was still alive by the time that Johanna went into labor on June 14, 2016—although she had to be delivered via C-section. She was given open heart surgery just six days later. 5-stillborn-partyFacebook / Prayers For Clara Ray

The family was permitted to take their daughter home on June 21.

6-stillborn-partyFacebook / Prayers For Clara Ray

Since this initial miracle, Clara Ray has had to go to the hospital five more times, but she’s still proving to be incredibly strong while dealing with her health issues.

7-stillborn-partyFacebook / Prayers for Clara Ray

Now, Johanna can spend Christmases and snow days with Clara Ray just like she dreamed. “This is her seeing her first snow fall. She absolutely loved it. I can’t explain the emotions we felt, as we watched that smile come across her face,” said Johanna in a post.

8-stillborn-partyFacebook / Prayers for Clara Ray

One could only imagine how relieved and happy the Mortons must be to see their baby survive. Nothing could have prepared them for the joy that Clara Ray brought to their lives!

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