A young mum has to wrap her baby son in cotton wool because of a rare condition that makes him as ‘fragile as glass’ with a sneeze or the slightest touch – resulting in broken bones.
Loni Osborne was advised to have an abortion after Theo was diagnosed with brittle bone disease 20 weeks into the pregnancy and even suffered fractures in the womb.
But Loni and partner Craig Pike Jnr, both 20, refused after being told he was otherwise healthy.
Now seven-months-old, little Theo has already suffered 20 broken bones or fractures, but Loni, who originally thought she could not conceive, is delighted with her fragile gift.
Mum-of-one Loni, from the Skagit Valley, Washington, USA, said: “Our little boy is so fragile. It’s like he’s made of glass.
“Just putting him gently in his cot can cause his bones to break and fracture. We have to wrap him up in cotton wool.”
The pair were shocked but delighted to discover Loni was expecting soon after their wedding in June 2017, after being told she would be unable to conceive.
At a scan in November medics said they couldn’t get accurate measurements of his limbs – and then obstetrician-gynaecologists asked her to come in for extra scans.
He was diagnosed with osteogenesis imperfecta.
Loni said: “There they confirmed the doctor’s worry – Theo had breaks in both femurs, his left tibia and his humerus on his right arm.
“Both legs were severely bowed and his rib cage was measuring small.
“We were brought into a room with a genetic counsellor, sat down and asked what we already knew about Theo’s disease.
“We were never warned and we had no clue. My heart shattered in my chest when she dropped the diagnosis that would change our lives.
“They told us with his chest being small he wouldn’t live and our best option was to terminate.
“After hearing this, I had two questions – does his brain work? Are his organs functioning? Both questions were answered with a yes so we decided that Theo gets to decide.
“We would give Theo a chance to prove these doctors wrong.”
Doctors planned to deliver Theo at 37 weeks, but Loni’s waters broke nearly a month early on March 25 and she was rushed for an emergency c-section.
“They had many doctors come and tell me worst case scenario Theo wouldn’t breath on his own and we would have a short amount of time with him,” said Loni.
Theo was born weighing 4lbs 15oz and while he had six rib fractures, a broken left clavical and two broken legs.
After seven days in NICU, he was transferred to Seattle Children’s hospital for more than two weeks, where is parents learned how to care for him.
“I was taking care of a child made of glass – that’s what it often felt like,” said Loni.
“The NICU was a dark time it was scary and hard and frustrating. But it was all worth it.”
The pair were able to take their son home on April 18 – two days before Theo’s original due date.
He suffered four fractures in June when he was simply put down by his parents, and broke his left tibia three times in two months by sneezing.
“Theo has a very high pain tolerance and we try to stay away from opiods and pain killers when we can,” said Lori.
“We mange pain mostly with CBD oils.
“Whether Theo will ever walk is unknown, but we do physical therapy, occupational therapy, eating therapy, he sees orthopaedics and we do early intervention.
“We spend a lot of times in doctors offices but we do everything we need to do for Theo.
“Our journey has just began but we are determined to give Theo the world. All we want for him is a good normal life.”