“Before meeting the little bundle of joy growing in Mom’s belly, all parents must endure an exciting nine-month wait.
There really is no better feeling than hearing the first cries of the baby when they are finally born into this world.”
However, for some parents, the birth of a child can turn out to be something they could never have predicted.
Mary and Brad Kish from Illinois, USA, eagerly awaited the arrival of their daughter in the late 1990s.
Mary’s pregnancy had gone smoothly, and the delivery went well. During childbirth, there were no signs that something was wrong with their little girl, Michelle.
However, when she opened her eyes, the doctors immediately noticed something unusual. They didn’t know what it was until they consulted medical textbooks and called in a geneticist from another hospital.
Michelle’s face was wide and childlike. She was also losing her hair and had a nose that resembled a small beak.
It was discovered that she had Hallermann-Streiff syndrome, a rare genetic disorder with only 250 known cases in the world.
“No one had ever seen it in person at Memorial Children’s Hospital, where Michelle was born.
When the doctor gave us the diagnosis of Hallermann-Streiff syndrome, my heart sank. I worried about how we would take care of our child with a rare genetic disorder, a one in five million case,” Michelle’s mother told the Daily Mail.
Michelle exhibits 26 out of the 28 symptoms associated with this condition. This condition, which affects only one in five million people, nonetheless causes a multitude of health problems.
Michelle has Hallermann-Streiff syndrome as well as dwarfism, which means she can barely reach the height of her sister despite being only two years apart.
Michelle’s condition requires significant support, including an electric wheelchair, a hearing aid, a feeding tube, a respirator, and visual aids.
Michelle and her family have also spent a lot of time in the hospital due to her illness. Sometimes, due to her appearance, she is mistaken for a child, even though she is 25 years old.
“Now Michelle is a 20-year-old woman, she is as smart as a whip, and happier than ever. She is one of the happiest young women I know,” said Mary, her mother, to the Daily Mail in 2018. She added, “She brightens people’s lives with her joy. She knows she is different but doesn’t let it get her down.”