FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Shannon Walthall spends every second she can at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.
There she watches over her baby girl and prays for another second.
“We pray all the time,” says Walthall. “That’s what makes it better.”
Every single second of the little baby’s life is a second more than she should have had –– that’s no exaggeration. The little baby’s name is Faith and she was only expected to live for five minutes.
“She hasn’t stopped fighting since the minute she was born,” says the Fort Worth mother. “I look at her and I think I was told five minutes and we are going on four months.”
Faith has a rare form of dwarfism. Her chest is small and she can’t expand her lungs, which means she can’t breathe on her own.
“This is the first time I have ever seen this condition,” says Dr. Karen Schultz, a Pediatric Pulmonologist at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.
Dr. Schultz says the condition occurs in one in a million children.
“We go one day at a time. There have been times when we have gone one moment at a time with faith,” explains Dr. Schultz. “Mom and I were going second to second at one point and we have gone from moment to moment – hour to hour and now day to day.”
Faith has had two surgeries already and has even fought off pneumonia. She has a long road ahead. Her mother says her faith has gotten her family through the tough times.
“I believe she is here to stay and accomplish unbelievable things in her life,” says Walthall. “Is it going to be easy? No. Is anything easy that’s worth it? No.”
Faith’s mom says doctors knew something wasn’t right when she was pregnant, but the family decided to carry to full term and meet their baby girl.
Even Faith’s doctors say they can’t explain, but they, too, are hopeful.
“Faith is a miracle,” says Dr. Schultz. “Oh, she will go home.”