MIDDLEBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Samantha Sawyer was home Tuesday for the first time in her life, all 18 months of which were spent at Wolfson Children's Hospital.

Doctors, nurses, social workers and hospital officials bid farewell on Monday to the toddler and her family.

''We really owe a lot of thanks,'' said her mother, Debra Sawyer.

Samantha, born four months prematurely, weighed 1.4 pounds at birth and had underdeveloped lungs. She still requires special machines to help her breathing.

''We will miss her a lot, but we know she needs to go home because that's where kids grow up,'' said Debbie Lingle, a respiratory therapist. ''We're glad we got her this far.''