RENO, Nev. - Before she was even born, the doctors declared Samantha Kuhn dead. Her mother had gone into labor four months early.
As soon as she was born; however, doctors realized their mistake and rushed to keep Samantha alive.
At the time Washoe Medical Center, now Renown, had never treated a baby as premature as Samantha. The doctors said she didn't have long to live.
That was sixteen years ago. Now Samantha is alive and happy, despite suffering from cerebral palsy, blindness and seizures. Her family says Samantha is the greatest miracle they could ask for.
"She is a true, unspoiled spirit," Lorenz Kuhn, Samantha's father said.
"She's not tainted by all the things in life that taint us. Samantha stays removed from those things so she just happy."
Samantha has had her family by her side, supporting and taking care of her. But as she gets older, they worry about her future.
"She will be reaching her eighteenth birthday," Anna Mae Smith, Samantha's aunt said. "And we know that sometimes the support and the funds for adults or young adults with disabilities don't seem to be as proficient as ones with infants or children."
The family hopes Samantha will be able to live and be cared for at home. They don't want to put her in a care facility. To make sure that never happens, the family has set up a trust in Samantha's name.
On Saturday, they held a fundraiser and silent auction to help raise money for that trust.
Samantha's dad said he has waited to set up a fund because he didn't want to ask for handouts. But he has found a way to give back to the community.
"It's important for me to tell people that if something ever happens to Samantha, we've chosen local charities, non-profits that care for special needs children and they will be the beneficiaries of that money," Kuhn said.
The trust has been set up at Great Basin Credit Union. To donate, just mention the "Life for Samantha Kuhn: Special Needs Trust".