TODAY | December 09, 2012
>>> christmas this year for one 2 1/2-year-old girl in texas who spent her entire life in the hospital. until recent ly adalynn willett lived as a patient and now she's home just in time for the holidays.
>> still unbelievable, it's hard to imagine her sitting with us in her living room. it's amazing.
>> reporter: amazing because there were times her parents, brian willett and serafina sevallos because her doctors feared she'd never see this now. she was born with her intestines and liver outside her body. she underwent 28 surgeries to put her back together, one for every month of her life. for all of her two and a half years from her birth until just this month, adalynn had been a patient where doctors treated her for a rare birth defect .
>> it's basically when the covering of the abdomen doesn't form.
>> reporter: her parents documented her long stay. two birthdays, two christmases, three thanksgivings, all within the sterile walls of a hospital, but then this month, doctors announced good news.
>> it's incredible the resilience of children is just incredible.
>> reporter: adalynn was able to go home. she took her first car ride, a long one, 150 miles to her new home in abilene.
>> she was like oh, my goodness, like you could tell her face was like why is that moving so fast.
>> she was looking at us, she was like -- she was going what?
>> reporter: but once the family was home the emotions of what they had been through, two and a half years of yearning for a healthy child came rushing back.
>> when you imagine having a kid, you imagine them being perfectly healthy and being able to, you know, take them wherever you want.
>> reporter: adalynn will be tethered to feeding tubes and monitors for the next few years. by the time she's school age doctors say she'll be on her way to a more normal life . life full of love.
>> i love you.
>> reporter: for "today," charles hadlock, nbc news, abilene, texas.