Miracle child offers hope (video)

Every year Willishia and Kelvin Rudd celebrate their daughter's birthday with one candle to honor each year that she is with them. Shayla Rudd, 10, was born premature with multiple complications. Her doctors predicted that she had a 40% chance to live once she went home from the hospital. Then they didn't think she would live past 5-years-old. She proved everyone wrong.
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  • To read the full story about how Shayla Rudd is beating the odds, click here.

  • The Doctors

  • • Dr. Giuseppe Colasurdo is a professor of pediatrics, president and the Alkek-Williams Distinguished Chairman at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and dean and the H. Wayne Hightower Distinguished Professor in the Medical Sciences at the UT ...

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  • The Doctors

    • Dr. Giuseppe Colasurdo is a professor of pediatrics, president and the Alkek-Williams Distinguished Chairman at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and dean and the H. Wayne Hightower Distinguished Professor in the Medical Sciences at the UT Health Medical School.

    • Dr. Amir Khan is an associate professor at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston and medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.

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.