Don't let the double chin or those doe eyes fool you—this is the face of a fighter.
Zahraa had a tough climb the minute she entered this world. She had to fight for life from the very beginning, but she didn't have to fight alone. After months in the hospital, the local doctors and nurses are totally comfortable around her, showering her with kisses. One even told me, "She's like our daughter because she lives here. We all really adore her."
But it wasn't until her most recent operation that things started really looking up little Zahraa.
This little girl has defied expectations and made optimists out of even the most pessimistic. The ICU team jokes that she's immortal, but they weren't always so optimistic. Dr. Novick—our partner surgeon here in Nasiriyah—and his team of teaching doctors and nurses provided Zahraa with two of the three lifesaving operations she needs.
Going on 7 straight months here, the little fighter has lived most of her life in the hospital. The staff and her parents actually celebrated her 1st birthday last month with a little bedside party.
But the best news for this little girl is her ability to eat. After her most recent repair, she is finally gaining weight and feeding on her own!
Keep an eye out for more Zahraa updates. She's a regular here, and she won't be going home until she gets her third and (hopefully) final surgery. But if her reputation holds up, I wouldn't be too worried.
She isn't finished fighting.