Teen returns to thank those who helped her survive after birth

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SARASOTA - At birth, she weighed less than two pounds. Today, the healthy and strong 13-year-old came back to say thanks to the nurses and doctors that helped her survive.

Courtney Markley will turn 14-years-old next month. Quite a miracle when you consider back in august of 1999 she was born at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, premature, weighing just one pound, 12 ounces.

The Maryland family was visiting the area back then and ended up spending two months here before Courtney was healthy enough to go home.

Today, on their first trip back to the area, they wanted to say thanks, and show what a beautiful girl Courtney has become thanks to their efforts almost 14 years ago.

“My husband and I are both amazed at her how strong willed she is. We kind of attribute that to her fight for life, that she's a strong willed, kind of an aggressive person and go-getter," says Courtney's mother Iris.

Courtney gave the NICU staff a heartwarming thank you note. "Then it tells them about my life and how they made me the person I am today and letting me have an amazing life and that I'm here today because of them."

Courtney will turn 14 next month. She and her family live in Maryland and this was their first trip back to the Suncoast since she was born.