‘One in a million’–premature baby weighing only one pound is now a happy little girl!

The parents of this little baby girl, who was born at just 23 weeks, made a tough decision before her birth: not to give up on this new life easily, no matter what would happen. Today, their wise and courageous decision has turned out to be the source of their happiness.

Little Zoe Dippenaar had to battle hard for her life, as she was born prematurely, weighing just 1.2 lb and 28.5 cm. Even before her birth, her life was hung onto her parents’ final decision—to keep her or to abort her!

Doctors told her parents, Jan and Amanda Dippenaar, that their daughter had only 30 percent to survive. And even if she made it, she would be in the high risk of having many developmental problems such as infections, Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, and brain haemorrhages, etc. They asked the couple to make a decision whether doctors should resuscitate the baby during labor.

Zoe Dippenaar was just 28.5 cm, and weighed 1 pound and 3.4 ounces when she was born at 23 weeks.
Zeo’s tiny foot was dwarfed in her mother’s hand.

Going through the hardest time before Zoe’s birth, the parents decided to do everything they could to protect their baby’s life.

“You don’t go and have kids and then decide halfway through that you’re going to give up on them,” Mrs. Dippenaar told Northern District Times in an interview when Zeo was three.

Tiny Zoe fought bravely for her life—she battled brain bleeds and collapses of her lung several times during the 15 weeks of her treatment at Westmead Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care unit.

Little Zoe puts her tiny hand on her mom’s finger.

“It was so hard to have a baby and not being able to take her home with you,” said Mrs. Dippenaar.

“We felt helpless,” Mr. Dippenaar said. “We just concentrated on getting her over the line.”

Zoe battles for survival in an incubator in Westmead Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care unit.

Young Zoe has turned into a healthy and happy girl except suffering from chronic lung disease resulting in asthma.

Adorable Zeo and her parents Amanda and Jan are at their West Ryde home.

“Look at her now—she is one in a million,” Mrs. Dippenaar said in the interview.

“It’s always in our minds that Zoe could have not been who she is today, or not here at all.”

Zoe Dippenaar is healthy and happy at age three – ©Virginia Young/News Limited