June 30, 2011

Zakia's Fight for Life

Zakia Onyekwere wasn't supposed to survive in her mother's womb. But in a battle against large fibroid tumors inside her mother's abdomen, Zakia won.

So, when Zakia was born weighing 7.1 pounds with 10 fingers and 10 toes, her mother, Zanira Dudley, was elated. It was far from the scenario doctors had prepared her for – the possibility of a 1-pound premature baby, if she survived at all.

But Dudley's elation quickly faded. Zakia's diagnosis of sickle cell disease at 2 weeks old devastated her mother who had struggled during her pregnancy just to keep Zakia alive.

Read the whole story by Jessica Pasley.