Christine Pathak has marked every milestone in a hospital -- most of them inside St. Mary's in Queens.
Everything from trick-or-treating to Thanksgiving to Christmas to birthdays were celebrated at the hospital. That all changed Friday.
It was during her time hospitalized, when there were moments that standing seemed impossible for the now 2-and-a-half-year-old. The fact that she walked through the lobby Friday -- with her ecstatic care team trailing her -- was nothing short of a miracle.
“Christine had no hope and St. Mary’s gave hope to us,” Christine's father A.J. Pathak said, adding: "I just think it’s a miracle."
U.S. & World
Her time at the hospital was brought on because young Christine was born born with a very rare condition: medication resistant congenital tuberculosis. There were moments when she was so sick that she was put on a ventilator and had to undergo a tracheotomy.
However, her team St. Mary’s never gave up.
"When you have the impossible, we try to make it possible and we make miracles everyday at St. Mary's," St. Mary’s Healthcare Clinical Care Coordinator Dina Spierer told NBC 4 New York.
Another blow to the family came when Christine’s mom was diagnosed with the same condition, going through 18 months of treatment, according to AJ Pathak.
Then the pandemic hit.
The hospital stopped allowing visitors. So Christine’s mom moved in. Living at her little girl's bedside for nearly a year. All while dad would call and stand outside.
" I would [wave] from outside, it has been really hard," Pathak said.
It was in that time that something shifted. Christine dramatically improved. So much so, that medical professionals believe he’s expected to live a completely normal life.
“I told Mr. Pathak he should start saving now he's going to have to pay for college and a wedding, all of these blessings,” Spirier said.
News 4 was the only station on site to see Christine finally go home. Pathak moved his daughter and wife’s belongings out as hugs, tears and "thank yous" were shared.
The three of them, for the very first time, went home together.
However, the care doesn’t stop here. Even though Christine went home, a therapist will actually go to her home to check up on her -- a service St. Mary's extends to all families.
Christine’s survival shows what’s possible when a medical team and parents refuse to concede.
“This gives hope to many parents that their child will go home,” Christine's beaming dad said.