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Woman With Rare Condition Is First in US to Give Birth

Stephanie Turner, 21, has Harlequin Ichthyosis
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2013 2:22 PM CDT
Woman With Rare Condition Is First in US to Give Birth
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Stephanie Turner was not expected to live past infancy. But she did, and at 21, she's the second oldest US citizen with Harlequin Ichthyosis, a rare genetic condition that left her without a top layer of skin, any hair, or the ability to sweat. Three months ago, the Arkansas woman became the first person with the condition in the US to give birth, KAIT-8 reports. William Kurtis Drake Turner was born healthy, after four days of labor; his parents knew he likely wouldn't have Harlequin Ichthyosis because his dad doesn't carry the gene mutation that triggers it.

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"He looks just like his daddy," Stephanie says. "I'm just going to tell him, Jesus made him white, other people different colors. ... And he decided to let him have the red mommy." Most people with Harlequin Ichthyosis don't live long enough to have children—and now that she has one, Turner says she and her husband will adopt if they decide to have another, particularly because the delivery was so difficult. "I don't want to risk him losing me," she says of her son. "I don't want to do it again since we have so much to lose now." (Read more genetic disorders stories.)

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