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Miracle child offers hope (video)

By Elena Watts
Aug. 17, 2013 at 3:17 a.m.


In the absence of optimistic studies about medical treatment for micro preemies, doctors have Shayla Rudd.

Dr. Giuseppe Colasurdo, a pediatric pulmonologist, and Dr. Amir Khan, a neonatologist, cared for Shayla during the first year of her life at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.

With Shayla's parents, Kelvin and Willishia Rudd, the doctors saved the fragile life on more than a few nights.

"Doctors came in on their days off. It was like one big family fighting for her life," her father said.

A new battle began when Shayla was discharged and moved home to Victoria.

Caring for children at home is a full-time, stressful job that can tear families apart, Colasurdo said.

"If we had to promise the kind of 24/7 vigilance it took to keep Shayla alive when she returned home with a tracheostomy and feeding tube, we would be distressed," Colasurdo said.

Shayla's parents took amazing ownership, he said. They became so skilled in her care that she did not need a nurse.

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