Family finds hope for daughter at Phoenix Children's Hospital

PHOENIX - Whether it's an impromptu dance-off in the living room or big brother practicing his drumming in the bedroom, it's never boring inside the Saunders home. 

That's because Dwight and Linny Saunders have 11 children - three biological and eight adopted.

"There's 163 million orphans in the world and until every person out there says you're too old, go home, then I think we'll continue to bring kids home," Linny smiles.

The Saunders take in children who are not perfect; many suffering with severe special needs.

"Our favorite thing to do," says Linny, "is take kids nobody else wants."

Kids like Ruby.

"She was just skin and bones and I said this should not be," Dwight says. "This is just injustice at its worst."

Dwight, a church pastor, was leading a missionary group in Uganda when he first saw Ruby. 

She was barely alive in a crib at an orphanage there, about a year old and weighing just 6 pounds.   

"She has Multiloculated Hydrocephalus, a very rare form of it. It's very rare to have more than one pocket of water on the brain and she has over 12 that we can count," Linny explains.

Ruby is also blind and has cerebral palsy.

But none of that matters to the Saunders.

"She was left so that God would put her in our arms," Linny says.

Seeking the best medical care, the family packed up their life in Colorado and relocated to the Valley in order to be near Phoenix Children's Hospital.

In less than 6 months, Ruby has grown from a tiny 6 pounds to now weighing 24 pounds. 

This multigenerational adoptive family credits Phoenix Children's Hospital for Ruby's miraculous improvement.

"She has had four brain surgeries. She had one in Africa while I was still there with her at a missionary hospital," Linny says. "Dr. Shaffron (PCH) has been an unbelievable blessing and the hospital has been above and beyond."

When asked if he believes Ruby would have survived without the expertise of the doctors at PCH, Dwight's eyes fill with tears. 

"No, Ruby would probably been dead by now," says Dwight. "She is here today because of (Phoenix) Children's Hospital."

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