One of the hardest aspects of being a doctor is having to deliver heartbreaking news that can have a serious impact on a person's life.
Every day, families and individuals of all ages are given life-threatening diagnoses. Nothing is more heart-wrenching than having to give a first-time parent the news that their unborn child might not make it through the birth, let alone survive outside the womb.
For those parents that choose to follow through with delivery, it's not often that they're met with miracles. Fortunately for this family, a miracle is just what they got.
Charlotte Yourds was pregnant with what she thought were two healthy twin girls.
During a regular visit to the doctor, an ultrasound revealed to Yourds that one of her little girls would be born with encephalocele. Encephalocele is a rare neural tube defect in a child’s brain that happens when the tube does not fully close and develop prior to birth, leaving the brain to extend through the skull cavity.
Because of the missing brain tissue, doctors did not expect the child to survive birth. They also did not expect her to be able to breathe on her own, or even cry. The girl’s parents were told to prepare for the worst and start planning accordingly for their daughter’s death. Refusing to give up, the couple knew they were giving birth to a fighter.
Their worst fears were realized when the girl, who they named Aniyah, began having trouble breathing on her own. Little Aniyah was born with just 10 percent of her brain. Not expecting their daughter to make it through the process, they prayed that Aniyah would persevere.
At just one day old, the tiny baby underwent a life-saving surgery that removed most of her brain tissue.
Six days after her birth, Aniyah proved everyone wrong when she was given a clean bill of health. While trying to remove the child’s ventilator, however, doctors discovered the girl had stopped breathing.
Aniyah’s parents decided against hooking their daughter up to any more machines and the baby was released from the hospital that same day. Once home the little girl began breathing on her own and pulled her own feeding tubes out.
Aniyah quickly revealed herself to be a budding music lover! Here she is on her four-month birthday.
While her twin sister, Sophia, and parents have no idea how much time they'll have left with Aniyah, they're making the most out of every moment.
Aniyah may have been born with a rare disorder, but this girl is one tiny fighter.