KATHLEEN DUNCAN/KDUNCAN@VICAD.COm • Buy This Photo
Shayla Rudd, 10, swings in the backyard as her father, Kelvin Rudd, watches nearby attheir home in Victoria. Shayla was born early at 24 weeks, weighing 1 pound, 7 ounces. After she was born, Shayla was in the hospital for 358 days, and her doctors said she probably wouldn't live past 5 years old. The predictions they gave her parents were that Shayla would be on a ventilator her whole life, she wouldn't talk or be able to walk well enough to get up and down stairs. She wasn't expected to be able to live any kind of independent life. Shayla recently celebrated her 10th birthday. "All those things they said she wouldn't do, she's actually doing. She's come a long way," her mother, Willishia Rudd, said.