DURHAM, N.C. -- It took more than five months, but the most desired wish of a family came true Saturday.
Baby McKenzie Richardson finally got to go home with her mom and dad for the first time. The child had spent five months in the neonatal intensive care unit at Duke Medical Center. When she was born last August, she only weighed 1.5 pounds. Since then, McKenzie has endured three surgeries and months using a ventilator to breathe.
"It's been a lot. It's been hard. Working 13 to 14 hours a day, coming up to the hospital after that. It's been really hard," McKenzie's father, Kevin Richardson, said.
Her homecoming also happened a day after the end of the partial government shutdown which was wonderful news for the Richardson family. McKenzie's mother, Kayla Richardson, is a government employee. She had missed two paychecks during the shutdown.
"I was actually at home in the living room when it came across the TV and I started screaming because it brings joy because we knew she was coming home today," she said.
The nursing staff at the NICU gave the family a standing ovation when they left the hospital for the first time together.