In the few snatched moments he was allowed before his daughter was whisked away by doctors, Andreas Mueller spoke from his heart.
"I whispered to her: 'Kimberly, you'll make it,'" he recalled.
The size of a mobile phone: Kimberley Mueller weighed just over 10 ounces when she was born in Hanover, Germany - making her the world's smallest surviving babyWith a survival chance of less than 1,000 to one, every day she has got through since then is a triumph.
Six months later, Kimberly has finally been allowed to go home to her parents in Hanover.
"Babies as small as this usually have no chance," said Dr Oliver Moeller, a heart specialist who treated her.
"We are incredibly lucky that she lived. Such a case I have never experienced. We had a lot of luck ... a lot."
Kimberly is the smallest baby ever born in Germany and the youngest to survive.
She was just 10.2 inches long and weighed little more than a packet of butter when she arrived in the 25th week of her mother's pregnancy.
Now six months, Kimberley has been allowed home for the first time (Above with mother Petra and father Andreas)Petra Mueller, 38, who remained at her daughter's bedside in intensive care at the University Clinic in Goettingen, was allowed only to stroke her with her finger.
"It was the nicest thing when she would grip my finger in her tiny hands," she recalled.
"She was like a little bear gripping a tree trunk, just hanging on for life as if she was saying 'Don't leave me, mummy'."
Kimberly was placed in an incubator for warmth, given a respirator to help her breathe and fed through a drip. She was also given a cocktail of drugs to boost an immune system that was barely formed.
At three months, she faced a major setback, when doctors feared she could be blind. But laser treatment corrected the problem.
Kimberley's chances of living were rated at worse than 1,000-1 when she was born 15 weeks prematurelyKimberly's progress was underlined when she arrived home this week weighing five and a half pounds and measuring 17 inches.
During the coming weeks she will continue to be fed artificially and will need to have oxygen as her lungs keep developing.
The world's smallest known surviving baby was Rumaisa Rahman who weighed just 8.6 ounces when she was born in Chicago in 2004.