“She spent her first three months of life in the NICU”
Newborn Zoe was rushed back to the hospital by her concerned parents a mere 24 hours after her initial release when she started vomiting and had still yet to pass her first bowel movement. She spent four days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit while her doctors ran tests. During that time, Zoe’s intestines began working, and she was sent to an outpatient center for a biopsy of her bowels. Six hours later, she was running a 105 grade fever and rushed back to the hospital again. It turns out that the biopsy clipped Zoe’s bowel, and it was leaking into her little body. She spent the following three months of her young life in the NICU to treat the infection. Zoe was cut open from her navel down and from hip to hip in order for her doctors to clean out the infection in her body. Afterward, she was finally diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s Disease, a condition that affects the large intestine and causes problems due to missing nerve cells in the muscles within the colon. At nine months old, Zoe underwent a “pull through” surgery where her doctors tested her colon for inactive cells and removed the diseased portions.
Zoe’s condition now requires daily medications. In the future, she will need surgery to treat her lifelong condition. Now 14 years old, Zoe’s favorite activities include reading, shopping, and acting. Zoe loves spending her time getting lost in Harry Potter’s world of witchcraft and wizardry and musing over her dream roles as an actress. To date, her film credits include a role in the 2014 movie remake of Annie, AMC’s Rubicon series, and Nerd Herd. Zoe’s greatest cinematic inspiration and role model is academy award winner Leonardo Dicaprio. It is a life goal of hers to see every movie that he has ever been in.