Tyler, TX (KYTX) --- The Guzzetta family proudly stood by Tuesday as Daniela, days away from turning one year old, was named this year's "Miracle Child" at the Tyler Rose Garden.
Her dad Joseph says challenges started at the time of delivery. "It was the worst 25 minutes ever," he said.
He and wife Carolina knew it was likely Daniela would have Down Syndrome from ultrasounds, and soon after she was born, it was confirmed. "The nurses were saying 'it seems like she's having difficulties breathing and swallowing at the same time'," Carolina said.
Daniela spent 18 days in the NICU at Trinity Mother Frances and wasn't able to eat or breathe without oxygen or a feeding tube. Even after going home, her medical woes didn't stop, and she was running 104 degree fever.
"We took her to the emergency room, and they did a spinal tap and found out that she had meningitis," Joseph said.
She later developed an upper respiratory infection. But doctors say by looking at her face now, you can see great strides."The whole family is fun to be with, but she just lights up their family," Dr. Rick Rogers, her pediatrician at Mother Frances, said.
He's been tracking Daniela's progress. "Growth-wise she's amazing. Instead of down syndrome charts, she compares favorably with kids who don't have down syndrome," Rogers said.
Today Daniela still sees a geneticist, but she's spending much less time in doctor's offices than before.