ALBUQUERQUE, NM - A pediatric nurse formed a strong bond with a baby in the NICU – so strong she adopted her.
Amber Boyd cared for Nicole since she was just a few months old.
According to the Today Show, Nicole had a rare birth defect called omphalocele, which caused her organs to develop in a sack outside of her body.
Quickly, Amber became Nicole’s primary nurse.
"She was with us for 18 months and that whole time I was her primary nurse and formed that bond," Amber said. "She is just a fighter… she is a great kid."
KOB reports that Nicole’s medical needs were too much for her family, and thus her mother’s parental rights were terminated.
Nicole became a ward of the state of New Mexico, FOX 13 reports. She has a twin sister who does not have the same condition as her and lives with relatives.
Nicole’s health began to improve, and caseworkers began to discuss where she would go following discharge from the hospital.
Amber, who was adopted when she was a child, realized that she could bring the baby girl home. Husband, Taylor Boyd, quickly agreed FOX 13 reports.
"I don’t think I was surprised at all, honestly," Taylor said. "I think (Amber’s) just a very selfless personality. It is very much in her nature. Just any chance she gets, she does everything she can to be selfless."
Soon, Nicole moved in with her now new parents and had surgery in October to close her stomach and attach her abdominal muscles.
First just her foster parents, in February, the Boyds adopted Nicole.
Now the little girl is 3-years-old and doing very well.
"She's incredible," Amber said. "She has learned in one short year … to crawl, stand and walk."
However, there are some difficulties. Nicole’s trach must be changed every day and she has had multiple surgeries and cardiac arrests.
But the Boyds are incredibly happy to have her.
"I can't imagine a time without her," says Taylor. "We have only had her for a short amount of time (but) she has become a huge part of the family."
Amber’s older sister Meli Gonzales, set up a crowdfunding page to help her sister and husband buy a new car to help foster more children with special needs.