Barcroft MediaWhen you learn you're going to be a parent, you hope that the baby will be born healthy and that mommy will be healthy too so everyone in the family can look forward to a healthy future. But in some instances, a family can get the most devastating news ever. That's exactly what happened to Emma Newman, who was happy to learn she was having another child.
The New Addition
Barcroft MediaEmma and her husband, Scott, were parents to three gorgeous daughters, and they were looking forward to having a fourth girl. But unlike her previous children, this pregnancy ended up having an unforeseen problem. "I was massive," said Emma, "so we didn’t think there was anything to be worried about." But Emma had gone into labor four weeks ahead of schedule, and that's when all of the problems started for this family.
A Humongous Tiny Problem
Barcroft Media"I was in a lot of pain and in an emotional state. No one seemed to know what was happening, apart from my baby was maybe premature," said Emma. "I started to panic." The couple realized that their daughter would be small because she was premature, but they weren't prepared for what happened when the baby was born, and neither were the doctors.
Her Life Expectancy Was a Year
Barcroft MediaThe couple didn't realize she'd end up being the smallest girl on the planet. She only weighed two pounds and measured a mere 25 cm, which was extremely abnormal. They decided to name her Charlotte, but they weren't sure how long their daughter would be on this Earth since doctors had told the family that she probably wouldn't survive because of her size. The family was devastated.
Looking Into Her Face
Barcroft Media"When Charlotte was first born she was extremely fragile," said Emma. "When I first ever saw her all I saw was her face because she had a little pink hat on and she was covered in bubble wrap all the way up to her neck." She was quite fragile and her parents couldn't even hold her the way most parents want to hold their child for the first time. Charlotte was just a bit more developed than a 16-week premature baby, and her future wasn't looking so good.
What Caused This?
Charlotte Garside / FacebookMedical tests determined that she had Majewski osteodysplatic primordial dwarfism (MOPD), a genetic abnormality that affects about 100 people worldwide. It's basically categorized by a retardation of growth, abnormal bone growth, abnormally small head size, brain anomalies, and unique facial features. Some of the other signs can include dry skin, dislocated hips and elbows, short limbs, limited hair and eyebrow growth, intellectual handicaps, and seizures.
She's A Trooper
Barcroft MediaDoctors believed the little girl wouldn't get to celebrate her first birthday. They were wrong. The little girl had a strong will to live, but it was difficult. Emma carried her tiny daughter in her hoodie's front pocket and placed her in diapers that were the same size as a credit card. She even dressed her in clothes intended for dolls, and as a toddler, she could only fit in newborn baby clothes.
It Was A Tough Road
Barcroft MediaThe only way Charlotte could eat was through a stomach tube because she was so small that swallowing and digesting solid food would have been dangerous. She also had cysts on her liver and a weakened immune system. Charlotte's mental and physical growth were also stunted. But she's a fighter and her folks are doing their best to give her the best life ever.
Barcroft MediaAs the years went by, she has proven that she's not a fragile child despite the fact that she looks like a "porcelain doll." "When people first meet her they are afraid she might break if they touch her, but she's quite scrappy and doesn't sit still for a second," claimed Chloe, her older sister. "She loves tearing around the house and being thrown in the air."
Time For School
Barcroft MediaWhen Charlotte was five, she started going to school. In 2012, she was only 68 cm tall and weighed under 9 pounds. In essence, she was about the size of a newborn baby, but she intended to live like a normal child. Emma explained: "She may be small but she has a massive personality and wants to do everything a normal five-year-old does."
She's The Light Of Their Lives
Barcroft Media"Life without Charlotte would be very dull," said Emma. "Everyone says you look at her, she smiles, you smile back. It’s an automatic reaction to smile back because she’s just so beautiful." Sadly, the life expectancy for someone like Charlotte is about 30 years, but her parents intend to take advantage of every single minute. "We’ve stopped thinking about the what-ifs, now we’re having the best time we can," they claimed. But Charlotte's not the only one living it up despite the odds.
This Is Nick
Barcroft MediaLike Charlotte, Nick Smith is one of 100 people who were born with this extremely rare form of primordial dwarfism. Smith is one of the smallest men in the world. In fact, you can compare him to the size of a regular three-year-old. But he's actually 26. Like Charlotte, he has siblings who are way taller than him. Actually, his brothers are unusually tall for their age and they end up dwarfing their brother.
Barcroft Media"Even though he's much smaller than me, Nick is my older brother so I still look up to him," Levi, the younger brother said. "We always joke with Nick that Levi and I stole all the tall genes so that's why he's shorter," added Travis, the older brother. "It's definitely ironic because the whole family's tall." Nick developed other complications from his disease as he's gotten older, and they're a whole lot worse than just being short.
Barcroft MediaDoctors found a bulge in an artery that sends blood to Nick's brain, which was actually an aneurysm. "An aneurysm is like a ticking time-bomb'" his mom Shelly said. "It doesn't affect sufferers on a day-to-day basis but it's terrifying. You know that it could rupture at any second and if it does, that's it. It's not likely anyone would survive." Fortunately, an operation delayed the inevitable, but the family knows they have to treasure every precious moment.
He's Such A Happy Person
"Nick is the apple of my eye. He's such a happy person, loves Spongebob Squarepants and charms everyone he meets," said his mom. "He's always break dancing and making people laugh. Our big thing is that Nick is just like everybody else. In his mind, he's no different. For me, it's like a having a child who never really grew up, and that's a wonderful thing. What mother wouldn't enjoy that?" Charlotte and Nick have proven that although their diagnosis is grim, it doesn't define who they are or how they'll live. And despite their tiny stature, their hearts and their will to live are huge!