FORT WORTH, Texas — Two-year-old Adalynn Willett smiles and claps her hands, dressed in a sparkly purple dress appropriate for a celebration.
"I just didn't think this day would ever come," said Serafina Sevallos, the child's tearful mother.
Adalynn was born 850 days ago, and has spent every one of those days in a hospital.
Born with her intestines and liver outside her body, the toddler has endured 28 surgeries — an average of one every month she's been alive.
Adalynn's heart has stopped twice, but somehow she has fought off countless potentially deadly complications.
"Babies that are born the way she is don't usually make it because they have so many problems," Sevallos said.
"I never thought we were going to make it this far," added Bryan Willett, Adalynn's father, "I always hoped for it, but I never thought this day would come. It is a very exciting day."
Two years and three months after she was born, Adalynn is saying goodbye to her family at Cook Children's Medical Center, the only home she has ever known.
Late Tuesday, with her father's help, Adalynn took her first steps outside the hospital walls and was strapped in for her first car ride and a new life with her mom and dad in Abilene.
Her parents hope it's the start of a normal child's life — 850 days in the making.