Baby Born with No Arms and No Legs Because of Rare Disorder Defies Doctors who Said He Would Probably Die at Birth

Baby RJ Wilson (pictured left and right, with his mother Jasmine Self, aged four months) was born with the rare condition tetra-amelia, which causes him not to have his arms or legs

A baby has been born with no arms or legs because of a rare condition which affects just a few families worldwide.

RJ Wilson’s mother Jasmine Self, 24, was five months pregnant when an ultrasound scan revealed her little one’s limbs were not developing.

The four-month-old suffers from tetra-amelia syndrome – defined as the absence of all four limbs, as well as severe malformations of the face, heart, nervous system, skeleton and genitals.

After being advised to terminate her pregnancy, Ms Self and her boyfriend Rondell Wilson decided to not to give up on their baby, with RJ being born at 29 weeks on September 29.

The youngster arrived weighing just 2lb 4oz (1kg) and spent the first two months of his life in intensive care.

Against all the odds, the youngster is now thriving at his home in Florence, South Carolina.

Baby RJ Wilson (pictured left and right, with his mother Jasmine Self, aged four months) was born with the rare condition tetra-amelia, which causes him not to have his arms or legs

RJ (pictured left and right with his mother) has managed to escape with relatively few complications, however, his parents struggle to find clothes that fit, as well as a safe car seat

‘I found out I was pregnant in April,’ Ms Self said. ‘I didn’t go to the doctor until August, so it was really late.

‘When I finally decided to go I could tell there was something wrong.’

Ms Self’s ultrasound technician told her to make an urgent appointment with her doctor.

‘I was sitting in the waiting room of my family doctor’s office when he came out to get me,’ Ms Self said

‘I found out I was pregnant in April,’ Ms Self said. ‘I didn’t go to the doctor until August, so it was really late.

‘When I finally decided to go I could tell there was something wrong.’

Ms Self’s ultrasound technician told her to make an urgent appointment with her doctor.

‘I was sitting in the waiting room of my family doctor’s office when he came out to get me,’ Ms Self said.

Ms Self initially considered terminating her pregnancy when she discovered her son’s syndrome during a five-month scan. Refusing to give up on her son, the hotel receptionist went on to have a relatively smooth pregnancy, before her placenta detached from her uterus

‘I was sent for follow-up appointments where they explained the condition to me and told me he could have other malformations,’ Ms Self said.

Ms Self – who works as a hotel receptionist – then faced the difficult decision of whether to continue with her pregnancy.

Tetra-amelia syndrome is a very rare disorder in which a baby is born without any of its limbs – it has only been recorded in a few families around the world, according to the US’s National Institutes of Health.

The condition is caused by a genetic mutation in a section of DNA which plays a critical role in development. Most babies die before or shortly after birth.

‘My doctors explained my options to me, and told me there was a possibility I wouldn’t be able to carry him to term, or that he might be stillborn,’ she said.

‘My boyfriend and I talked about a termination and actually booked a procedure in Washington but we I decided to go on with the pregnancy.’

Although her pregnancy went relatively smoothly, things took a turn for the worse when Ms Self was forced to deliver RJ via an emergency C-section when her placenta detached from her uterus wall.

This can lead to severe internal bleeding in the mother, as well as cutting off the baby’s supply of oxygen and nutrients.

RJ (left) will one day require a specially adapted wheelchair. Ms Self (pictured left with her son as a newborn) was forced to wait several days before she could hold RJ through armholes in his incubator. The little one was immediately rushed to intensive care for blood transfusions

After RJ was born, the youngster was immediately rushed to intensive care for blood transfusions.

‘I remember seeing a head full of hair before they whisked him away,’ Ms Self said.

The new mother was only able to hold her son on October 1, three days after he was born.

‘I put my hands into the incubator and held him in my hands,’ she said. ‘It was a happy moment.’

After RJ was born, the youngster was immediately rushed to intensive care for blood transfusions.

‘I remember seeing a head full of hair before they whisked him away,’ Ms Self said.

The new mother was only able to hold her son on October 1, three days after he was born.

‘I put my hands into the incubator and held him in my hands,’ she said. ‘It was a happy moment.’

Ms Self (pictured right with RJ) insists he is ‘a normal baby in every way except he doesn’t have any arms or legs’. She adds the youngster (left) has a ‘great personality’ and a ‘bright future’

WHAT IS TETRA-AMELIA SYNDROME?

Tetra-amelia syndrome is a very rare disorder where a baby is born without any of its limbs.

The condition can also cause severe malformation of other parts of the body, including the face, heart, nervous system, skeleton and genitals.

The lungs are often also underdeveloped, which can make breathing difficult or impossible unaided.

Due to the severity of a sufferer’s condition, many patients are stillborn or die shortly after birth.

Tetra-amelia syndrome’s prevalence is unclear, however, it has only been reported in a few families worldwide.

It is caused by a genetic mutation in a section of DNA that plays a critical role in development before birth.

Sufferers require life-long assistance with specifically designed wheelchairs.

Management otherwise depends on the severity of other malformations.

Source: US National Library of Medicine  

SOURCE: Daily Mail, by Alexandra Thompson