SALT LAKE CITY — (KUTV) Beating the odds and inspiring strangers to follow her journey, baby Zariah was born at just 24 weeks gestation and is now 11 months old.
Zariah Donovan was born Sept. 13, 2015, 16 weeks early, weighing only 1 pound 6 ounces.
Before her birth, Shawn Donovan and Vilayvone Thipsouvan were faced with a difficult decision. On their website they say Zariah “was so little that two hospitals actually turned Zariah and family away as they don’t view births before 24 weeks as viable. They wouldn’t provide life support if it was needed, and it was going to be needed. It took an emergency ambulance ride, and a Life Flight to get Vilayone, Shawn, and Zariah to a hospital that would finally take them in for the delivery.”
For her first months of life, Zariah was cared for at Primary Children’s Hospital on life support for a severe case of chronic lung disease.
This summer, Shawn and Vilayvone were told that medically there was a zero percent chance for Zariah to survive.
Refusing to give up the fight, they found the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Zariah was accepted into a special infant treatment program under the care of Dr. Daniel Malleski.
See the support people offered on Instagram with #ZariahStrong.
Dr. Malleski worked with doctors at Primary Children’s to prepare Zariah to be transported to Nationwide.
The couple never got a chance to get married during all the issues with Zariah, so an impromptu wedding happened at Primary Children’s Medical Center.
Now Zariah and her father are in Ohio. Zariah’s mother is the policy holder for their insurance and is required to stay in Utah to continue working and remain insured.
Zariah’s parents say they’ve been overwhelmed with the prayers and support that have come from family, friends and strangers.