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A Utah girl is finally going home after spending the first three years of her life in a hospital in Ohio.
Zariah Donovan was born prematurely at just 23 weeks, six days gestation in September 2015.
Time - NICU - Lung - Disease - Parents
During her time in the NICU, she developed such a serious lung disease that doctors told her parents, Shawn Donovan and Vilayvone Thipsouvan, that she had a zero percent chance of survival.
Zariah was took weak to go home and no medical center near the family could provide the care that she needed.
Family - Program - Nationwide - Children - Hospital
The family learned of a specialized program at Nationwide Children's Hospital - 1,700 miles away - and agreed to admit her.
After years spent in physical, occupational and speech therapy, Zariah's lungs finally grew strong enough and she was cleared to go home.
Hospital - Ohio - Difference - Life - Death
Staying at the hospital in Ohio for the past three made the difference between life and death for Zariah, but it meant the family has been split-up for most of their youngest daughter's life.
Donovan quit his job and moved to Ohio to be near her, while Thispouvian stayed behind in Sandy, Utah, with their older daughter Raven, now four.
Years - Thipsouvan - KSL
'Not being able to see them for basically three years is just super hard,' Thipsouvan told KSL.
'There's part of me that's so terrified that [Zariah is] going to forget me.'
Journey - Couple - Daughter - Birthday
It's been a long and emotional journey for the couple, who didn't think their daughter would live to see her first birthday.
When Zariah was born at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City, she weighed just one pound and six ounces.
GoFundMe - Page - Zariah - Percent - Chance
According to a GoFundMe page, Zariah was given no more than a 15 percent chance of survival because she was so underdeveloped.
Doctors told her parents, she was at a high risk of facing life-long physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy...
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