COLUMBUS, Ohio – A baby born at just 23 weeks was given almost no chance of survival. But she beat the odds, and will celebrate her first birthday in less than a month.
Zariah Donovan was born on September 13, 2015, 17 weeks early. She has spent everyday of her life in the hospital since, fighting to grow strong enough to finally go home.
It’s been an eventful year for Zariah in the hospital. In addition to beating the odds, her parents got married in an impromptu wedding ceremony held inside Primary Children’s hospital in Utah.
Throughout the ups and downs, Zariah’s family says they hoped for a miracle.
“We were told by the medical team that we had a zero percent chance of survival,” Zariah’s father, Shawn Donovan told WCMH. “The only chance we had to survive was a miracle.”
That miracle came when Zariah was moved from Utah to Ohio, where better treatment options were available.
Her mother, V, made the difficult decision to stay behind in Utah, where she works and has health insurance.
Zariah’s father is currently residing in Ohio to be close to Zariah. Zariah’s mother and sister visit about one a month.
“It’s really difficult… I’m barely making it,” V told KUTV in an interview. “I just hope that I can be there once a month to smell her and hold her.”
The family says they are overwhelmed with the support they have received throughout Zariah’s journey.