HOUSTON (KTRK) --"They didn't give her a very good percentage to live," said Penny Pate. "I would've missed out on all of this."
Faithlyn Pate was never supposed to make it this far. Born with fluid in her brain, a severely underdeveloped heart, and only one kidney, the outgoing three year old has been through more surgeries than she can count.
"She takes her Barbies, or her babies to the doctor," her mom, Penny, explained. "That's how much we've had to go to the doctors."
Faithlyn is at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital so often, that staff started giving her a special bead for each of her medical emergencies.
In three years, she's gotten more than 100 beads, but then, the Pates' New Caney home caught on fire. Mom, Dad, Faithlyn, and her three siblings got out, but their two dogs were killed. The home was a total loss.
"The next day after everything set it, It was like, 'her beads!' It was so devastating, because they were in a jewelry box next to her bed," Penny said.
The loss was also devastating to the hospital staff who had painstakingly picked out each bead. So, they started all over again, poring over medical records to make sure each bead was correct.
"It's more than just beads. Each one represents something that's meaningful," explained Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital Child Life Specialist, Kimmie Bayliss.
"It's like her story of her life. Everything that she's been through, everything that she's accomplished and how strong of a person she is," said Penny. "She's a baby now so she really don't understand, but as she's older she'll know."