Yahoo — “Today is one of the greatest days of my life,” Smith wrote in the caption of his Instagram post. “Today I get to hold my youngest for the first time! GOD is GREAT! #DakotaStrong”
Smith and his wife, Jewel Harris, announced last month that Harris had given birth to their daughter, Dakota, five months before her expected delivery date. Five days after her birth, Dakota weighed just 1 pound.
“We decided to share with the world what’s been going on with our family in the past five days,” Harris said during a video message shared by Smith via Uninterrupted, the athlete-fronted digital media company co-owned by Smith’s Cavaliers teammate, LeBron James. “We know we’re not the only family going through this, has been through this or who will ever go through it.”
Dakota survived that telling first week and has continued to fight. More than a month after the family’s announcement of her birth, according to TMZ, “doctors determined [Dakota has grown] strong enough to allow her parents to hold her in the NICU,” or neonatal intensive care unit.
Just wanted to pass along so very serious but also very good news about our man Earl Joseph Smith III. About a month ago, JR and his wife Jewel announced that she’d given birth to their daughter Dakota 5 months ahead of the expected due date. Dakota weighed one pound at the time.
One month later, they got to hold Dakota for the first time. I can’t even imagine what that must be like. There’s a long way to go for JR and his family. They’re by no means out of the woods here. But while they’re still dealing with such a long, emotional process, this is a pretty awesome step in the right direction.
And by the way, while this means very little in the context of what JR and his family are dealing with, I wouldn’t say it’s a coincidence to see him back on the court today.