Two sisters were finally reunited after the eldest underwent a painful surgery 2,000 miles away.
It had been 57 days since the two were separated, ABC News reported, and Marion Brainard, 13, was nervous to see her big sister India again. But when she saw her, all her nerves disappeared.
“When she saw her, she went running up,” their father, Donnie Brainard, 45, of New Mexico, told ABC News. “India got big tears in her eyes. She calls her 'Sissy' and said ‘Sissy, Sissy, Sissy' over and over again in a real high-pitched voice.”
India, 15, has cerebral palsy and was hospitalized in Boston to have dual hip replacement and femur re-alignment surgery.
One of her legs and one of her arms are paralyzed, but it hasn't stopped her from going to school, having a boyfriend and hanging out with her little sister.
Originally, India was supposed to be home from surgery within three weeks, but when she had trouble healing, her stay was extended. The aftermath was painful and she had stopped eating.
India was diagnosed with “failure to thrive.”
Their father told ABC News the girls grew up “extremely” close.
Whenever India needs help, Marion is the first to step in. When kids at school tease her, Marion defends her. When she needs help stretching, Marion lends her a hand.
The two enjoy listening to music together, looking at boys and playing tricks on people.
“They'll laugh so hard, tears will come out of their eyes,” Brainard said.
India was sent home to Albuquerque, N.M. but was moved back to a hospital in a matter of days.
She is making slow progress, but things are looking up for her.
“She's smiling,” Brainard told ABC News.
Brainard organized a fundraiser for her on the Web site You Caring and has raised over $12,000 so far.
*ABC News contributed to this story.