SAN DIEGO – She spent the first two years of her life at Rady Children’s Hospital battling a chronic lung disease. At long last Tuesday, Addy Smith finally went home.

The child of Chris and Aliesha Smith, Addy was born prematurely and her lungs were underdeveloped as a result, Rady neonatalogist Dr. Jeanne Carroll said. It left her hospitalized since late 2019 with ongoing respiratory failure and a need for ventilation.

Her parents started to wonder if she’d ever go home, which made Tuesday even more joyous.

“We didn’t know it would be 848 days,” Addy’s grandfather Werner Kurn said. “We thought maybe a hundred.”

Family, friends and Rady staffers gathered with signs, pom-poms and phones recording to cheer little Addy on as she left the facility in a stroller. The moment was extra sweet since her trip home was teased many times before setbacks kept her hospitalized.

“She constantly just surprised us,” Aliesha Smith said. “Almost every time after that ‘home’ word came up, something always happened literally the next day to her.”

Addy certainly kept her family “on their toes,” Kurn said, adding that his daughter Aliesha and son-in-law Chris never missed a single day at the hospital.

Even as they were met with many hurdles, Dr. Sandeep Khanna, a pediatric intensivist at Rady, said the family kept battling through it.

“She never gave us a chance to give up because she kept on saying she’s there to fight and fight with me,” Khanna said. “So, we did.”

Khanna said he has hope Addy’s lungs will grow and she’ll be able to get out of the ventilator to do “normal things.”

Now, the family finally has a chance to be whole with Addy and their 6-month-old son Aiden. Aliesha said they haven’t had the time they would have preferred with Aiden because of their daily dedication to Addy, making her trip home from the hospital even better.

“We lived at the Ronald McDonald House across the street,” Aliesha told FOX 5. “We spent a year not knowing if she was going to make it the next day.”

“The phrase was ‘Addy’s driving the bus,'” Chris added. “We’re all passengers and giving up was never an option for any of us three.”

To help other children staying at Rady Children’s Hospital, click or tap here to see the hospital’s wish list.