Until a few decades ago, expecting parents had no idea what to expect when their baby arrived. But with the invention of some incredible technologies, the complications that can occur during childbirth have been drastically reduced. In today’s modern world, one can detect most of the possible genetic disorders and other diseases a child may possess in the early stages of pregnancy. However, there are things that even technology can’t predict, prevent, or cure. Some things must simply run their course. Just ask Joni Gatlin and her newborn daughter whose story is heartbreaking.Joni went for her ultrasound when she was 15 weeks pregnant. The doctors noticed some unusual fluid in the scan but it was too early to make any assumptions. But the issues that stemmed from those initial findings became apparent after the birth of Joni’s daughter, Madison when she realized her baby was born with a very distinctive condition.
The condition that Madison was born with is known as cloves, which causes lymphatic fluid to swell beneath her arms and chest. The disease is extremely rare and only 200 people worldwide are affected with it. The doctors consider her being alive nothing short of a miracle. Unfortunately, the weight around her upper torso and arms will continue to increase with her height and age.
Joni, a mother of two, said, “Her nickname started during an instance where twin boys asked me what was wrong with her, I told them her daddy was the Hulk and they thought it was the coolest thing ever.” She further added, “After I told them she was the Hulk’s daughter they wanted to be her best friend.”
Joni continued to explain that, “I’ve told younger children she’s a baby Hulk because I don’t think they would understand the condition, and at least this way, they aren’t scared of her and don’t treat her differently.” She further added, “You have to try to have a sense of humor with something like this.”
The parents were totally unaware of the existence of any such disease and were stunned to see her appearance from the waist up. But they went ahead and learned about the condition and found out certain facts. According to Joni, “When she was born she looked like a cute little blob with legs. We believed the mass weighed 3lb. Now I think it’s around 5 lb.”
The specialists have to perform chemical cauterization, where a small amount of fluid is withdrawn from her body and re-injected with a mix of medication and saline. She has to wear compression clothes 24×7 and even has to get the fluid drained twice a day.
The treatment will reduce the swelling to a size where surgeons will be able to operate, but until that time comes, her mother has learned to treat her daughter at home. Meanwhile, the family is raising funds to gather money to cover Madison’s medical bills. Hopefully, she can get the best possible treatment that money can buy.