Zak – starting the race at 23 weeks

December 31, 2006

Yesterdays papers covered a story of Zak. Bit of a feel good story especially given the photo that was posted with it. But it caught my eye and it seemed like a nice note with which to start the year. Zak, in the photo, has just celebrated his first birthday. Ordinarily no big deal, except that Zak was born at 23 weeks (not the usual 40 in case you were wondering). At birth he weighed in at 665 grams – or 1.4 pounds!! If your kids have weighed in at 4, 5 or even 8 lbs you will know just how tiny he must have been.

Apparently only one in seven babies who arrives so early survives to leave hospital, but the odds were stacked even further against Zak: as a boy he was much more likely to die than a female infant. For those born between 24 and 32 weeks of pregnancy, 8 per cent of boys die, compared with 5 per cent of girls.

But I was less captivated by statistics and more by Zak’s cheeky and delightful face (I am getting soft in my old age!). His mother told reporters he is always happy and rarely cries. Despite the odds, he seems to be looking at the bright side, even at this young age.

Enjoy. And happy new year Zak – and everyone else passing by this spot.