When she was born, Ella Maintz was given between a zero- and 1-percent chance of survival. Her lungs had collapsed, and she was suffering from both hypertension and low blood oxygen. Doctors didn’t expect her to survive the helicopter flight from Springfield, Mo. to St. Louis for an operation. Not only did Ella make it through the flight and surgery, but she was also breathing on her own, gaining weight and breast-feeding just a week later. Better yet, despite a prolonged period of time when her brain was only receiving 50 percent of the required oxygen, Ella suffered no apparent brain damage.
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