Jacob “The Fighter” Smith was born 111 days premature on September 4, 2003, weighing one pound, three ounces. He spent the first four months of his life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) battling infections, undergoing numerous surgeries; fighting for his life. Doctors gave him a 60-70% chance of survival. Every day was touch and go.
|One-day-old Jacob holding his Mom and Dad's hands.|
His eyelids were fused until he was one month old. Mom and Dad could not hold him until he was five weeks old. But he was, and still is, a fighter. After 126 days in the hospital, Jacob came home.
He did not come home unscathed though. Due to his prematurity, Jacob lost his vision and suffers from epilepsy. He spent many nights in and out of the hospital during his first few years of life due to upper-respiratory illnesses and prolonged seizures.
At the age of six, with the encouragement of his Neurologist, genetic testing was ordered for Jacob and his parents to determine whether underlying conditions could have caused his early birth and other medical issues. A few weeks later, they learned that Jacob had two chromosome abnormalities. Mom and dad are not carriers. The same year, Jacob was diagnosed with moderate/severe Austism Spectrum Disorder. He is non-verbal.