Mid-South woman with rare genetic condition defies odds, deliver - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Mid-South woman with rare genetic condition defies odds, delivers healthy baby

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Three-month-old William Kurtis Drake Turner is a dream come true for a Stephanie Turner, who was not supposed to live beyond her own first hour of life. Three-month-old William Kurtis Drake Turner is a dream come true for a Stephanie Turner, who was not supposed to live beyond her own first hour of life.
But at 21, Stephanie is the second oldest U.S. citizen living with the condition and the first ever to give birth. Most people with Harlequin Ichthyosis do not live to a child-bearing age. But at 21, Stephanie is the second oldest U.S. citizen living with the condition and the first ever to give birth. Most people with Harlequin Ichthyosis do not live to a child-bearing age.
After a painful delivery, Stephanie has fully recovered, and Willie is happy and healthy. After a painful delivery, Stephanie has fully recovered, and Willie is happy and healthy.
Stephanie says she hopes Willie grows up to be a doctor, but his dad wants him to play for the Dallas Cowboys. Stephanie says she hopes Willie grows up to be a doctor, but his dad wants him to play for the Dallas Cowboys.
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WYNNE, AR -

  (WMC-TV) - The Mid-South woman who has defied doctors for decades simply by being alive brought another life into the world – and it was no easy task.

Three-month-old William Kurtis Drake Turner is a dream come true for a Stephanie Turner, who was not supposed to live beyond her own first hour of life.

"It was so worth it. Every bit of it. He's amazing. He's so happy," she said describing Willie. "There's no words to even describe."

Turner was born with an extremely rare genetic condition called Harlequin Ichthyosis. She does not have a top layer of skin, cannot grow hair, and does not sweat. Most babies die with her condition.

Click here to see a slideshow of Stephanie overcoming a "one in a million" birth defect.

But at 21, Stephanie is the second oldest U.S. citizen living with the condition and the first ever to give birth. Most people with Harlequin Ichthyosis do not live to a child-bearing age.

"I didn't have any problems at all up until it was time to deliver him, and then I ran into some issues," said Stephanie who was in labor four days.

Willie was a week late, so doctors induced.

"They wanted me to, since I'm the first person to ever do it, they wanted me to do it as natural as possible. And that just wasn't happening," said Stephanie.

Stephanie's husband, Kurt, was there for support.

"That was fine one day. Then two days rolled around, then we hit the third day, and she really started to have bad labor pains and they put an epidural on her," he said. "The epidural was only working on one side. She was hurting."

Into the fourth day of labor, doctors attempted to perform a Cesarean-section, but Stephanie's skin condition presented unforeseen obstacles.

"Couldn't get a piece of machinery to work because of her skin ... To help seal her vessels off after they opened her up ... They told us that the epidural wasn't working, and they were going to have to put her under ... And that nobody could be back there," said Kurt. "Me and her momma both kind of lost it ... A lot of prayer is what got us through it."

Two hours after putting Stephanie to sleep, doctors delivered a healthy 7-pound, 14-ounce boy.

"They came out and told us that he was here, that he was healthy, that everything was OK," said Kurt.

After a painful delivery, Stephanie has fully recovered, and Willie is happy and healthy.

"He looks just like his daddy, and he's so big," said Stephanie.

Mom and dad knew there was only a small chance their baby would be born with Harlequin Ichthyosis because his dad does not carry the gene that triggers it. Stephanie's condition is the result of a specific gene mutation in both of her parents. But this couple does not plan on taking risks with another pregnancy.

"I want to adopt if we have one," said Stephanie. "Because I don't want to risk him losing me. We've already played it once. I don't want to do it again since we have so much to lose now ... I'm just going to tell him, Jesus made him white, other people different colors ... Just that God made everybody different. And he decided to let him have the red mommy."

Stephanie says she hopes Willie grows up to be a doctor, but his dad wants him to play for the Dallas Cowboys.

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