Isla Kilpatrick-Screaton, a two-year-old from Leicester, is referred to as “grandma” by her father, who has a rare form of mandibuloacral dysplasia that causes her to appear elderly. She is the only individual with her condition in the globe.
The disorder that begins before birth is also known as “Benjamin Button disease”; it accelerates cell senescence.
The name of the malady is a tribute to F. Scott Fitzgerald, the protagonist of a 2008 film whose protagonist was born elderly.
Doctors were perplexed by Isla’s diagnosis, as the genetic mutation she possessed had never been observed before.
Stacey Kilpatrick, 33, and Kyle Screaton, 36, were stunned when physicians told them to Google Isla’s condition because they were unfamiliar with it.
The two-year-old does not have the capacity to articulate, so she uses sign language to communicate. The disease has caused her bones to become misshapen.
The parents of Isla have embraced her condition and affectionately refer to her as “grandma” as they face the challenges of caring for her. Isla suffers from a cardiac condition and has difficulty inhaling as a result of her extremely constricted airways.
Despite the difficulties they confront, Isla’s parents report that she is a very happy child who relishes playing with her 7-year-old sibling Paige.
Isla’s mother resigned her employment as a teaching assistant to care for her daughter full-time.
“I recall that when we were informed of the diagnosis, the genetic specialist told us that Isla is the only person in the world with this genetic mutation-causing mutation. They could not tell us how the situation will develop. There is no one else with this malady, the mother explained.
On February 2, 2017, Isla was born at 36 weeks gestation at the Royal Leicester Hospital weighing 2.26kg.
A month after Isla was released from the hospital, her parents hurried her back because she had turned blue and was suffocating.
The infant had to be revived because her tongue was obstructing her airway.
“We had to summon an ambulance because while we were bottle feeding her, she began choking, babbling, and turning pale. One of us was administering CPR while the other held the phone. It was dreadful for our firstborn daughter to witness,” Isla’s mother said.
In October of that year, she was diagnosed with mandibuloacral dysplasia, which caused her bones and epidermis to deteriorate. She has a 2.5mm wide conduit that allows her to feed.
The parents affirm that he communicates effectively despite his inability to speak; this has been a very difficult process for them.
Stacey explained, “Isla cannot cry, so when she sleeps she is connected to a heart monitor and an alarm sounds when she awakens.”
Her illness alters Isla’s body temperature. “It is either freezing or blazing scorching. If he feels ill, his temperature can reach 40 degrees,” the mother added.
During her pregnancy, Kilpatrick did not suspect that her child had any genetic abnormalities. When she was born, however, she promptly observed anomalies.
“Once he was born and the umbilical cord was cut, he couldn’t keep his oxygen level above 60 percent, when it should have been 90 percent,” the mother said.
The clinicians attempted to unclog her airway in seconds that felt like hours, but her parents were unable to see her because she was rushed to the intensive care unit.
“We nearly lost it. “For the first five days of her life, she was placed in an incubator and induced into a coma,” Stacey explained.
The other daughter of Isla’s parents, who was five years old at the time, was not permitted to see her younger sibling in order to protect her.
She remains committed to providing for Isla, and they hope to discover a cure for her rare illness. They have approximately six specialist medical consultations per week.
Occasionally, Isla’s genetic alteration manifests years later. Hers appeared during her first few months of life.
Kyle, the girl’s father, jokes with her frequently by calling her “grandma” because she is so diminutive and frail. Paige and Isla are able to play together at Rainbows Children’s Hospice.
It is admirable that the family sticks together to surmount adversity and, above all, to ensure the health of the small island.
In order to aid their daughter and other children who may contract the disease in the future, the parents wish to raise awareness about the illness. Share your experience.