Marissa Higgins
August 23, 2016 2:10 pm
Facebook/Shawn Donovan

When it comes to defying the odds, overcoming medical issues is no easy feat. Whether you have a chronic condition or a once in a lifetime ailment, many of us know how terrifying it is to go through the pain and fear associated with health problems. For a newborn and its parents, however, things can be exponentially scarier. For Zariah, a little girl who was born at just 24 weeks, life was full of surgeries, medical procedures, and a whole lot of hope. Her parents shared recently, however, that this brave little girl has just had her first birthday, and defied the odds of many medical experts.

Zariah’s father, Shawn Donovan, left his job to be by Zariah’s side. For insurance purposes, Zariah’s mother, “V,” had to return to work, so the couple arranged for Shawn to stay at the hospital with Zariah to sing to her, talk to her, and give her plenty of physical contact, which helps her respond better to her treatments, such as her breathing tubes.

As Shawn tells People, “seeing how much Zariah has improved keeps me going. She’s fought every inch of the way and has completely changed the value of life for me. Waking up and breathing is something that we all take for granted. I can’t imagine not being by her side.”

According to People, Zariah is likely another year away from her lungs being strong enough to leave the hospital entirely. Our hearts are endlessly full.