A little girl, who spent 850 days in hospital, has finally come home in Abilene, Texas. The two year old girl had spent her entire life in a Fort Worth Hospital, but she was finally discharged home just weeks before Christmas.
Two year old Adalynn Willett was born with her intestines and liver outside her body, and had been receiving extensive treatment at Cook Children's Medical Center. But after living in the hospital her whole life since birth, she finally went home this week to the delight of her entire family and hospital staff.
Father Bryan Willett has said, "She is very excited to be home. She is full of joy," according to Good Morning America.
The condition the little girl suffered with is called omphalocele, and means all her intestines and liver developed outside her body. The condition was first discovered when she was still a fetus and gave doctors time to prepare for the complicated birth. However, the family were expecting her to be hospitalized for about three months after birth. Those three months became 850 days, and involved 28 surgeries and physical therapy treatment.
Dr. Nancy Dambro has spoken of the pride of the hospital staff, who became like her extended family, that she can finally go home: "The fact that we were able to manage it so that she is going home for Christmas is nice."
The condition affecting Adalynn Willett is very rare and only affects one in every 5,386 babies in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. However, Willett's condition was even more rare as her entire intestinal system was outside her body – that more extreme condition is only found in one in 10,000 in the United States.
Due to her tiny size the process of placing the organs back in her body had to be performed one by one over several stages of surgery.
The little girl slept at home for the first time on Tuesday night this week.
Mother Serafina Sevallos told GMA: "It was very emotional to see her. We waited so long for her to come home and actually getting her home is amazing. She's come a long way."
At the moment Adalynn still needs some care as she gets bigger; she has a tracheotomy to help the pressure her intestines are putting on her lungs. She has also been sent home on an IV and a feeding tube for nutrition.
Her dad has said, "Every holiday that's come around for the past two years has been spent in the hospital. It's heartbreaking. Now, it's going to be back flips when we spend Christmas with the family."