Baby Sal’s dying mother held on, making sure her son would survive. Sal’s dad died before he was born
When Baby Sal reaches out for his mother in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit room at Surrey Memorial Hospital, it’s hard not to get emotional. His mother isn’t there, after all. She died shortly after he was born, and what Sal is reaching for is her photograph.
Sal is lucky to be alive himself. He’s known as the “miracle baby,” and for good reason. He was born on Christmas Day, just 26 weeks into the pregnancy. He weighed just under two pounds at his birth and was the size of a water bottle.
His birth was not only difficult but marked by tragedy. His mother, Breanne Smaaslet, just 22, was terminally ill with osteosarcoma during the pregnancy — the same cancer that killed Terry Fox.