Fri | Sep 17, 2021

Letter of the Day | Embracing the challenges of life

Published:Friday | March 29, 2019 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

On average, at least 130 million babies are born into the world every year, and an estimated 15 million of these babies are born preterm (before 37 completed weeks of gestation). Preterm birth complications are seen to be the leading cause of death among children under the age of five, and this is due to the fact that premature newborns face an increased risk of experiencing one or more complication, which may include respiratory distress syndrome, retinopathy of prematurity, and anaemia, just to name a few.

Being a mother is a role that shouldn’t be taken lightly or for granted, and to all the wonderful mothers who walk this path, great respect is due. Without you, life would not be possible.

To all the babies that came into life, never forget the joy and love you brought into the lives of your parents and the impact you had on them for the nine months.

Like many preterm or premature babies, I was not as fortunate to have spent nine full months inside of my mother’s womb. I was born at six months, small enough to fit in the palm of my mother’s hand at a weight of one pound and 14 ounces, with a 45 per cent chance of survival.

It is nothing short of a miracle that I am here today, beating the odds that have been placed in front of me. It was Albert Einstein who said: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

FAMOUS EXAMPLES

Many great men, such as Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Stevie Wonder, were born to be what we would consider premature babies, but despite the challenges placed before them during their lifetime, they chose not to see it as an obstacle blocking their way, but as a motivation to achieve great things.

So whether we are brought into this world with a 17 per cent, 45 per cent, or a 100 per cent chance of survival, we should be ready to face the challenges life has to offer.

“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.” – Michelle Obama.

JHANEL MCPHERSON

jhanelmcpherson18@gmail.com