October 17, 2017
Fostering Peace Through Medicine: Zachariah’s Story
An Answered Prayer
At 39 years old, expectant mother Reema and her husband, Abu Zachariah, were preparing to welcome their firstborn child.
Coming from an established Muslim family in Amman, Jordan, Reema knew from an early age that she wanted to be a mother. After suffering a heartbreaking miscarriage a few years into her marriage, she feared her dream might never come true. This new baby was a miracle, the answer to over ten years of desperate prayers.
At 27 weeks, Reema unexpectedly went into labor. She was terrified, flooded with the memory of her past miscarriage. Her husband rushed her to Holy Family Hospital where their son was delivered weighing only 2.2 lbs. They named him Zachariah. But their family’s journey was far from over. Zachariah was immediately admitted to Holy Family Hospital’s NICU, where he spent two months growing and recovering with his parents by his side.
The Holy Family: A Source of Comfort
Reema’s first hours as a mother tested her faith. But whenever she began to lose hope, she was reminded of the Holy Family and felt comfort. “My religion is Islam,” said Reema, “and contemplating the Holy Family watching over my baby brought me so much hope during those difficult times.”
While Zachariah was still in the NICU, Reema and her husband decided to find a gift for the Hospital and its staff, who were working to save her baby’s life. They decided on a special icon of the Holy Family, remembering who brought them strength in their darkest moments.
“I wanted other families — both Christian and Muslim — to feel that same comfort,” Reema said. “They are not alone.”
After two long months of intensive care, baby Zachariah was cleared to go home. Today the gifted icon hangs proudly above the infants in Holy Family Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.