Where are they now? Inspirational families of 2015

Some of the inspirational stories from 2015.
Some of the inspirational stories from 2015. Photo: Supplied

We met some amazing, inspirational babies and parents in 2015. Now that a bit of time has passed, we thought we'd catch up with some of our favourites to see what's happening in their lives these days.

Bethany Hamilton and baby Tobias

Now 25, 'Soul Surfer' Bethany Hamilton has recently made headlines after surfing Pe'ahi – aka 'Jaws' waves spot – in Hawaii.

Inspirational: Bethany Hamilton surfing 'Jaws'.
Inspirational: Bethany Hamilton surfing 'Jaws'.  Photo: Instagram

The American, who lost her left arm 12 years ago after being attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark while surfing, was towed into the estimated 15-metre wave on a jet ski as part of her upcoming documentary, Surfs Like a Girl.

This was all just seven months after welcoming her first baby, a son named Tobias.

"I've always had a passion for surfing big waves and pushing my ability and today that's what I got to do," the mum wrote on a Instagram post.

"Huge mahalos (Hawaiian for thank you) to my hubby, dad, babysitter and everyone in the water. [I'm] beyond stoked and so very thankful!"

Hamilton last week also shared a photo of her baby son on a surfboard, captioning it, "My surfing baby, Tobias."

Arkell & Dana's 'bun in the oven' baby

They first came to public attention when their 'bun in the oven' baby announcement went viral. Dad-to-be Arkell was obviously shocked and thrilled by the news – and it's easy to understand why, as they couple's 17-year journey to parenthood included four miscarriages and a stillbirth. Not only that, Dana was already five months along when she discovered she was pregnant.


But that wasn't the end to the drama: baby Kaleb arrived at 24 weeks and 1 day, weighing just 369 grams.

Although then given a 5 per cent chance of survival, Kaleb is now 11 weeks old and weighs 1300 grams. His mum continues to update their 143,000 Facebook fans as Kaleb grows stronger every day.

"When Kaleb is in my arms, I am temporarily blinded and the tubing and multiple lines are invisible," Dana Griffin-Graves wrote after Christmas. "All I can see is my precious handsome son who is calm and content lying on his mommy's chest. Please continue to pray for the development of Kaleb's lungs and the healing of his digestive system." 

Guess whose 11 weeks today and weighing 2 lbs 15 oz (1330 grams) almost there! Watching a child suffer is one of the...

Posted by Arkell & Dana's Baby Bun on  Monday, 4 January 2016

Jaxon Strong

When Brittany and Brandon Buell's son Jaxon was born missing much of his brain and skull, doctors said he only had days to live. 

But Jaxon, who has microhydranencephaly, celebrated his first birthday in September – and then followed it up with his first Christmas. 

The family has shared a video of the little boy forming words and starting to stride his legs when held up by his parents.

On January 2, the family shared a new video of Jaxon, writing, "Happy New Year from Jaxon! He is excited to play with his toys and learn more about textures and sounds. Ready for an exciting 2016!"

Jaxon was really working on his smiles and words this morning! #JaxonStrong

Posted by Jaxon Strong on Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Busby quintuplets

In April 2015, America's first all-female quintuplets were born in Houston when Danielle Busby delivered Olivia Marie, Ava Lane, Hazel Grace, Parker Kate and Riley Paige by caesearean, after a 28-week, 2-day pregnancy.

The babies joined Blayke, the 5-year-old daughter of Danielle and Adam Busby, who is a doting big sister to the quins.

Mum Danielle blogs about family life, recently sharing a post about the nightly bedtime routine with five babies.

"It starts out nice and quiet while we (Adam, Blayke and I) try to eat dinner   … Then we gather all on the floor for some play time - also know as 'keep the babies awake for as long as we can' so they don't fall asleep before bed."

"Then its time to make a huge mess…change diapers and put them into their pjs. It is crazy how quick the living room can be a disaster! Never a dull moment here."