As originally reported in Live 99.9; when Melissa and Chris Courson found out the baby they were expecting in a few months would be born with the rare thantophoric dysplasia, they were in shock. The rare genetic disorder wasn’t inherited from either of their families. The news was sorrowful. It’s extremely uncommon for babies with such diseases to make it past birth. Melissa and Chris, got a beautiful surprise.
Thanatophoric dysplasia is rare severe skeletal disease which stunts the growth of limbs and causes extra skin. Physical development is holistically effected, causing a large head, wide-spaced eyes, narrow chest, and lungs that aren’t functional at birth. Due to the respiratory issues, most babies with the condition are stillborn or don’t make it past birth.
Melissa went into birth six weeks early, giving birth to her daughter Paisley Courson. When they had learned of her diagnosis, they had the sinking feeling that she was not going to make it. When she came to life in August of 2019, she defied expectations. While most babies born with the condition don’t make it past birth due to respiratory issues, they’d known what to expect, and doctors immediately hooked her up with a ventilator to help her breath. Melissa explained that because the disorder harms the growth of the lungs, she needed the air immediately upon leaving the womb. Paisley stayed in the Cobb Hospital in Georgia where she was born for a month until she moved to the more equipped Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She continued to stay in the hospitals for first half year of her life and received a tracheostomy. Six months later, she finally go to go home. Her parents say upon coming home, she’s been a happy baby. She said to Line 99,
“She loves music, she loves playing with her toys. We love her little smile. She’s a happy baby since we’ve been home.”
Paisley has gone on to receive many specialized therapies, but that doesn’t bother her family. Courson said,
“She’s got her own little speed she’s going at. She’s a little behind, but we’re OK with that.”