For a woman to suffer a strange disease is a problem, but when she finds out that she will be a mother, her concern is about the health of her baby.
Stephanie Turner was born with a rare genetic skin condition that makes her skin thick, red and cracked. The twenty-something woman from Wynne, Arkansas has Harlequin ichthyosis.
According to Wikipedia, at birth, the sufferer’s whole body is encased in an “armor” of thick white plates of skin, separated with deep cracks.
In addition, the eyes, ears and limbs may be abnormally contracted. Because of resultant cracked skin in locations where normal skin would fold, it is easily pregnable by bacteria and other contaminants, which can result in serious risk of fatal infection.
When Stephanie was born, doctors said it was unlikely she would survive — but she continued to defy all odds stacked against her.
She attributes much of her survival to a life-saving cream she applies every day, which prevents bacteria and lubricates her rough skin.
Stephanie is currently the oldest female in the United States to have this rare condition. Unfortunately, she became no stranger to nasty comments and bullying. Strangers have approached her to ask if she is a burn victim.
But there’s another reason why Stephanie has surpassed the doctor’s expectations, and that is her unbelievably positive attitude towards life.
In fact, it was her upbeat outlook that made her husband fall in love with her.
Soon after she got married, Stephanie became pregnant at the age of 23 — but she knew that having a baby possibly meant risking her life.
Pregnancy in women with Harlequin ichthyosis can be highly dangerous because the stretching of the stomach can make the condition worse.
The doctors had no idea what to expect from Stephanie’s pregnancy and delivery; they’d never seen a case like this before.
Defying all odds once again, Stephanie delivered a healthy son. She is the first person with Harlequin ichthyosis to give birth!
Stephanie and her husband went on to get pregnant a second time and welcome a healthy baby girl into the world.
She did not pass the condition onto either of her children because both parents must have Harlequin to be passed down.