Mariyah's Story

Images Captured By Aspectus Photography

Tiny Light Mariyah has been defying the odds from even before she was born. Now, nothing can slow down this curious one-year-old who tries so hard at everything and smiles through all of it.

When mom Shama started having contractions at 23 weeks gestation, doctors said the baby’s chance of surviving the delivery was only 2%. Mariyah weighed just 507 grams at birth, and was immediately rushed off to the NICU. She survived but faced several life-threatening battles over the first six months of her life. This preemie suffered a brain bleed, bleeding in her cerebellum, she had heart surgery to close a duct (PDA), stomach surgery to remove adhesions from necrotizing enterocolitis, numerous bouts of infection, chronic lung disease, and one scare of meningitis. Through it all, Mariyah remained a feisty little baby, always kicking, grabbing and pulling at her wires and tubes.

Though parents Shama and Irshaad were told their baby girl would likely be
severely disabled because of the brain bleed, Mariyah continues to develop right on track for her adjusted age. The left side of her body is weaker, but that doesn’t stop this princess from getting what she wants. She is pulling to stand and walks with help. By her next birthday, she should be like any other two-year-old.

This Tiny Light never gives up. Even in the darkest days when everyone thought
she would not make it, she kept fighting. “In one year, Mariyah has been through
more than my husband and I have been through in our entire lifetime. She has given everyone who knows her a reason to believe, and provides us with a daily reminder of how fortunate we are in life.”

Written by Elaine Yong