When this woman with a deadly condition fell pregnant, doctors feared the worst but caught a miracle. This young Arkansas woman was born with a rare skin condition that has threatened her life since the day she was born. Against the odds, however, she survived and despite her condition, she was determined to live as normal a life as possible. So naturally, 20 years later, she got pregnant. But then doctors seriously feared for both her and her unborn child.
What actually happened, though, can only be described as a miracle.
Stephanie Turner from Winnie, Arkansas, was born with an almost unique and deadly skin condition, Harlequin ichthyosis. In fact, in the decade in which she was born in the 90s, very few such babies live beyond a few weeks old. Yet somehow Turner managed to defy those statistics and live a happy life.
What is Harlequin ichthyosis? Well, those are the condition develop thickplated skin sufferers are also especially prone to infection due to deep cracks between those plates. Moreover, facial dysfunctionments can occur owing to the skin’s thickness, and respiratory failure may be caused by a constricted chest wall. Unable to take in enough air, the condition can often prove fatal, particularly in infants, because of the high infection risk. In fact, the condition was once almost always deadly.
But life expectancy has recently increased owing to improve treatments. Turner is one such person to have beaten the odds, and she uses a crucial cream that helps lubricate her skin and keep bacteria at Bay. I’ve actually had someone come up to me and ask if I was in a fire, Turner told the Daily Mail. Yes, her skin stretches and splits badly due to the growth rate of her skin being seven times quicker than average. She also has hardly any hair and is receding eyelids and ears.
Donna, her mom said. They told me babies who are born with a skin condition had no hope and yet defying doctors is not the only impressive thing about Turner. Indeed, she has an incredibly positive outlook on life, despite the continual pain the condition causes her. The skin is the only thing I’ve ever known, she told the Daily Mail. So I don’t know how to look at myself any different.
With Turner determined to live her life as normally as possible, then it’s this defines in positivity that first attracted her partner, Kurt. When I met her, I didn’t see a person with a skin disorder. I just saw a beautiful woman, Kerr told a Daily Mail. She was funny and she’s always trying to make things positive. So after a brief period of dating, the couple married a few months later.
Then, of course, comes what often follows weddings, starting a family. I always wanted to be a mom, Turner told the Daily Mail. But I didn’t know if I could have kids. Consequently, she became not only the second oldest American survivor of Harlequin ichthiosis, but the first with a condition to become pregnant. This being the first case of its kind, Medics had little idea what would come of this unprecedented medical situation.
The doctors couldn’t tell us anything because I was the first one with Harlequin echiosis to consider having a baby, Turner told the Daily Mail. What was certain, though, is that doctors feared for her life. Indeed, medical professionals hadn’t been able to predict how her skin would react to her belly expanding as her baby grew inside of her. But ultimately, her pregnancy actually proved beneficial to her condition. In fact, it was only when it came time to deliver her first child that the real problems began.
I didn’t have any problems at all up until it was time to deliver him, and then I ran into some issues hunterstated. Turner doctors had originally wanted as natural a birth as possible due to its unique nature. But as the birth was a week late already, it proved impossible. Since I’m the first person to ever do it, they wanted me to do it as natural as possible, Turner told WMC Action News Five. That just wasn’t happening.
However, the medical team’s decision to induce would bring about yet more complications. Labor was fine one day, then two days rolled around, and then we hit the third day, said Kurt, who was by his wife’s side every step of the way. She really started to have bad labor pains, and they put an epidural on her that was only working. On one side, she was hurting. On day four, doctors attempted a C section, which presented a whole new set of problems.
Doctors couldn’t get a piece of machinery to work because of her skin, said Curt. They told us that the epidural wasn’t working and they were going to have to put her under distressingly. No one else could be present while doctors performed the operation to deliver the baby. And yet, two agonizing, hours later, Turner delivered William Curtis Drake Turner, a seven pound, 14 ounce baby boy. And what’s more, the newborn didn’t have the skin defect.
Harlequin ichthyoshis develops due to an abnormality in the ABCA Twelve gene. However, if the gene from only one parent has the mutation, symptoms may never appear. In order for the condition to transpose, then the abnormality needs to be present in both parents ABCA twelve genes. I can’t tell you what good of a feeling it is just to have your children healthy and happy, Turner told the Daily Mail. She did, however, think that having more babies would be too much of a risk.
Therefore, if the couple were to have more, she said, they would adopt. But that was in 2013. In early 2015, then, Turner gave birth to Olivia, a healthy baby girl, forever with a positive outlook, she said. I hope the future holds nothing but happiness. I’m sure there will be a few bumps in the road, but that’s life.
We’re just focusing on my two perfect babies. From her cheerful optimism, Turner hopes her kids will learn to pick your battles in life. Not everything has to be a big deal or a heartwrenching obstacle. Sometimes it helps to laugh about it and go on. Who said being a red Gal couldn’t be fun?