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Dubuque Family Celebrating Life 11 Years After Infant Daughter Faced Death

DUBUQUE, Iowa  --  Thursday marked the 11th anniversary of a frightening day for the parents of a baby girl who stopped breathing; but this year, they are all smiles.

A Dubuque family was preparing for the worst when their 21-day-old daughter Camdyn faced what medical staff say was a case of sudden infant death syndrome, but as KWWL's Jessica Hartman reports, the little girl proved she was a fighter.

"She makes me very proud," said Camdyn's mother Mandy Reisner, who was holding her daughter when she stopped breathing years ago.

Mandy watched her daughter fight for her life, and then go on to live it, playing soccer, dancing, and laughing with her brother.

"There is really nothing that I could simply say to Camdyn, 'I don't think we are going to be able to do that.' She is not going to take that for an answer. She is going to say, 'yeah, we can, mom. Yeah, we can.'"

Camdyn is now the light of a family they once thought they had lost, after the girl stopped breathing for 57 minutes.

"They told us that if she were to wake up, that she would be a vegetable."

But Camdyn did wake up, and through a life time of therapy has learned to speak, walk, and simply be a kid.

Thanks to medical staff, the Reisner family now gets to "hold our princess in our arms, kiss her goodnight every night."

Gwen Hesselman, a hospital staff member, said, "We work with life and death every day and to be able to see Camdyn, who basically was dead when she was brought to the E.R. with full resuscitation going, and then to see her today, it is really special."

Much of the staff had not seen Camdyn and her family since that night.