Sunday, August 21, 2016

Photos: Baby Girl Born With Harrowing Skin Condition Defies All Odds To Clock One

A baby born with a harrowing skin condition that doctors thought would kill her has defied the odds to make it to her first birthday.

Harper Foy is one of only 13 people and the youngest in the world with Harlequin Ichthyosis - a genetic illness that causes the skin to grow seven to 10 times faster than normal.

Shocked doctors had never seen her condition before and warned her devastated parents, Angie, 40, and Kevin, 38, it was unlikely their daughter would survive.

While in the womb, Harper's skin tissue built up so that when the tot was born, she was covered in hard plaques that had stopped the circulation in her feet and hands.

Harper was rushed to intensive care and although surgeons were able to remove the plaques she lost the tips on four of her fingers. After a roller coaster month in hospital fighting an infection, Harper beat the odds and Angie was able to bring her new daughter home.

However, Harper's skin needs constant hydrating as she sheds layers of skin every four to eight hours. Without a cure for Harlequin Ichthyosis, the main focus is keeping Harper comfortable with regular baths and moisturising lotions for her skin.

Mum Angie, from Edmonds, Washington, USA, said: "We had no idea she had the condition until she was born, we were so shocked.

"When she was born she didn't look like a human, she looked like an alien. It was very traumatic.

"She was put straight in ICU. It was a gut wrenching few weeks.

"Her whole body was covered but thankfully not internally.

"She had to have surgery to cut open the hard plague to release pressure after being in the womb.

"Every day we just didn't know if she would make it. She was on feeding tube and she had infection, and that's the thing that kills a lot of these kids.

"It's a miracle she's alive."

Angie added: "Right now we are giving her four baths a day. "She loves it. With the Microsilk baths the temperature stays the same so she can sit it in for an hour and it regulates.

"It's expensive but she will have it forever."