Warning: This article contains graphic images that some people may find disturbing.
Danni Latham from Sutton Coldfield, England, was looking forward to life with her new daughter when she gave birth on July 20, 2014. She had long dreamed of becoming a mother and now it was finally happening. Numerous ultrasound checkups had found nothing wrong with her baby and she felt like she had nothing to worry about. But when Danni's baby finally arrived and she took her in her arms, the doctors noticed that something wasn't right. The child was screaming and obviously in great pain.
Upon closer inspection they could see that the baby had no skin on its hands and feet. The doctors thought that Danni's child was suffering from an infection and that treatment with medication would solve the problem. The young mother trusted the doctors, but had no idea how bad things would get.
Danni woke up in the middle of the night in the hospital to find a group of doctors gathered around her newborn daughter's bed. Isla's infection had drastically worsened and her life was in danger. None of the nurses had ever experienced a case like this: the medication they had given her had only made her condition worse! Her little body was covered with red blisters and rings and the hospital staff couldn't find any kind of cream or medication that would help. When doctors told Danni that her baby would only survive for six weeks, she was scared and desperate.
But finally the doctors were able to diagnose Isla's condition: a rare genetic disease called epidermolysis bullosa (EB). Babies with this condition are sometimes referred to as "butterfly children" because their skin is as delicate as the wings of a butterfly. Even the slightest rubbing can cause blisters or bleeding. And the worst part is, the disease has no cure.
Some forms of EB are life-threatening, but luckily Isla had a type of the disease that was not as severe. All the same, the young mother and her newborn faced a tough road ahead.
On the worst days, the disease is almost unbearable for little Isla. She cries a lot and the pain can go on for hours. Danni does what she can, but it is very difficult to relieve this kind of pain. And when the physical pain is under control, there are other forms of emotional pain to deal with. Strangers approach Danni on the street and accuse her of mistreating her child. Because Isla's wounds often look like burns, many people think that Danni left her in the sun without any sunscreen to protect her skin.
But Isla and her mother are tough and they have become a great team. Today Isla is two years old and has proved all of the doctors wrong in their prognosis. Every day Danni takes care of her daughter by sucking the fluid out of her blisters with a syringe, rubbing medicinal lotion on her skin and bandaging her wounds.
When Danni sees how bravely her daughter is fighting against her fate, she knows that it is all worth the effort. For despite all the pain, they continue to have many beautiful and happy moments together, and these moments are priceless. Danni does anything and everything for her little "butterfly girl", including organizing donation campaigns to help with the medical costs. The treatment that Isla needs most is very expensive and Danni is willing to do everything that is necessary to ensure that she receives it. Anyone interested in helping can visit their campaign website and make a donation.
Together these two are sure to make it and show the world that Isla can have a wonderful life despite her illness. For many years Danni wasn't able to talk openly about her daughter's condition, but now she is ready to let the world know the truth because she knows that it's the best way she can help her daughter to lead a normal life.