GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — When Caden Hotchkiss was born early at 28 weeks, doctors said this bundle of joy was only the size of an embryo at 24 weeks. Adrianna Hotchkiss is Caden’s mom. Adrianna says, “It’s overwhelming. It’s hard to explain, but you fall in love instantly, and that makes it even more terrifying.”

Caden came into the world at 1lb, and just over 9oz. after an emergency cesarean in Montrose, and a Care Flight trip to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. Now, his parents say he’s being cared for in an artificial womb in the neonatal intensive care unit, and Caden has defied the odds. “He is off the ventilator, off the CPAP even. he’s on just nasal cannula. he’s been feeding well. so, it’s good news so far,” said Adrianna.

But, both mom and dad are defying the odds too because the goal is to be with their newborn son no matter what. “I don’t have very much paid time off saved up. So, I think I have a week is all,” said Adrianna.

Kevin says he qualified for paid family and medical leave. FMLA is paid time off for the birth of a child, and to care for the child for up to 12 work weeks, but Adrianna works at an employer with less than 50 workers. So, their family and their employers are stepping up.

Perhaps, the smallest person on the Western Slope was born so soon his parents were late in naming him, but he’s a fighter, and now he has the perfect name. Kevin says, “That’s why we called him Caden because Caden means spirit of battle.”

Now, Adrianna says, “Now, he’s 1lb 13.1oz so, he’s grown a little bit. He’s got a long way to go though. He started at 12 inches and now he’s 13.”

The goal for these new parents is to get their new little spirit of battle home by his original due date on March 28th.

To follow Caden’s journey, or to donate to his go fund me page, click here.