Zariah's Fight For Life
Meet little Zariah Donovan who was born September 13th, 2015.
Zariah's story began with preterm labor at 23 weeks and 3 days. At each medical facility, the providers continually stressed that Zariah was not considered viable and strongly advised against full medical intervention. After being transferred to 3 different facilities, Zariah entered the world at 23 weeks and 6 days, weighing 1lb 6oz. At this gestational age, we were given a 15% chance of survival. There would be a high probability of blindness, hearing loss, physical impairment, cognitive impairment, Cerebral Palsy, increased infection risk, brain bleeds, and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).
Our NICU journey has been a roller coaster. Our little fighter has endured and conquered many trials over the last 19 months. She has triumphed over heart surgery at 3 weeks of age, pneumonias, 12 blood transfusions, sepsis, and lung collapse. Throughout our journey, we have been told countless times that she was not going to make it. In April 2016, we were informed that Zariah had the worst case of Chronic Lung Disease the hospital had seen and her chance of survival was 0%.
What the providers forgot was that Zariah is a living, breathing Miracle! She has beaten the odds! Zariah has not had any brain bleeds or necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). She reversed the Retinopathy of Prematurity and visually tracks very well. Zariah has no hearing loss. She recognizes Mommy, Daddy, Sister & Grandma!
After being given no chance of survival in Utah, we chose to give Zariah every opportunity to thrive. Zariah & Dad transferred to Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. This 1700 mile move gave Zariah a 96% chance of survival. Zariah went from a medically paralyzed and sedated baby to a Smiling, Interactive, and Thriving child!
Life...it is a funny word. It is said so simply, but means so much. Take a look at Zariah who in such a short period of time has defined what fighting for life looks like. The fight started from hospital #1. The fight continued during the delivery as it took doctors 8 minutes to revive and get Zariah breathing. She fought beautifully during her first few weeks doing everything she could to gain weight, and develop her little body. Zariah has fought a fight that would take the strongest of us to our knees. It would push the most enduring of us to give in. She has truly defined strength, and the will to be alive.
As of March 2nd, Zariah is now off all sedating medications, which allows us to optimize developmental therapies. Zariah has come so far, but still has many challenges to overcome. She has oral aversion from being intubated for 6 months. She becomes agitated and gags at everything near her mouth. She is working on sitting up and has learned to rock herself. Our future holds extensive speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.
As a family, the distance has been quite difficult. Mom must stay in Utah to maintain insurance coverage. Older sister asks for Daddy and Zariah everyday! Family interaction is absolutely vital for Zariah's development. Mom tries to visit as much as possible, but due to financial responsibilities visits are only for a couple of days each month. Mom treasures every second with Zariah. Thankfully, Dad is staying at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House and has committed himself full time to Zariah's recovery.
Funds raised will go towards Zariah's medical bills, additional therapies that Zariah will need, and flights. Please give us the gift of family interaction, which is crucial for Zariah's development. Please help our Miracle continue to thrive.
Zariah's strength and perseverance has been life changing to so many! We are so blessed to call her our daughter. Her light and strength lifts us up during the unbearable moments. She has reminded us to treasure and celebrate every moment! We know she will able to overcome these developmental challenges with the help of OT, PT, and speech therapy. We know in our heart that she can overcome anything! We continue to witness miracles daily.
Please pray for our Zariah! Please pray for healthy lung tissue! Please pray for continued milestones! After being in the NICU for over 19 months, please help us get Zariah strong enough to be able to come home!
Join us and get in the corner as we fight daily to ensure this beautiful baby girl gets to experience all that this beautiful world has to offer.
This week we weaned Z’s vent pressures to 46!!!
This is the lowest it has ever been. This tells us that Zariah’s lungs are growing and getting stronger. Also over the past 2 weeks Zariah has had a lot more spontaneous breaths (breaths of her own above what the vent gives her). If this wean to 46 goes well we will go down to 45 on her pressures next Tuesday. At 45 we are looking to transition to the Trilogy Home Vent. Once on the Trilogy and with a couple more successful weans we will be in a position to possibly transfer back to Utah.
Thank you for he continued Prayers and Positive Energy. We are soooooo close!!!
Z has been doing Great on her CPAP trials. She is doing 30 minutes a day (goal is to get up to 24 hours), and we will discuss increasing the time this week. She currently has an ear infection we started to treat that yesterday. But overall she a doing well and game plan is still to try to get her home around her third birthday in September.
Heather Simonsen reporter from KSL will be covering Z’s journey coming home. I will keep everyone updated on dates/times of airings and for those outside of Utah I will post these stories on my page ❤️!
Hope everyone has a Wonderful Week!
Hi, mom here... How do we even begin to thank our supporters? How do we thank the people whose mass prayers have delivered us miracles time and time again. How do we thank those who have been there 24hrs a day to lift our spirits? You all have given us so many gifts. Gifts of love, prayers, support, and joy when we needed it the most. Your support has made it possible for us to focus on helping Zariah heal and develop mentally and emotionally. We are so humbled by the overwhelming support you all have shown us on this difficult journey. We can never thank you enough! God bless you all.
We thank everyone for all of the love and financial support from the bottom of our hearts! Currently we are asking for financial help for flights so mom can be able to visit Zariah in Ohio once per month. Mom is the insurance carrier for the family so she will need to stay in Utah to work and take care of Raven while I take care of Zariah here in Ohio. We appreciate any assistance! #ZariahStrong
Childrens Hospital of Columbus in Ohio is a great hospital. They saved my little sisters life many years ago when she came down with Menigitis at 7 months old, She is now 41.. . And My granddaughter life just 5 years ago...dont know what we would have done without such a GREAT place. Your daughter is so sweet and beautiful. God Gave her to you as he knew you were just that special mom and dad that could handle the storm through this for her!! Remember that. With all the love and prayers sent to her and you she will continue to get strong and be out soon I am sure!! I cant give today, but maybe next month...God bless and hugs to you all.