A 3-month-old baby from San Antonio, who was born missing skin in some areas of the body, is now in Houston to receive life-saving treatment.
Ja'bari Gray, who was born on New Year's Day weighing just 3 pounds, has an extremely rare form of skin disease known as Aplasia Cutis. He was born without skin from the neck down.
What Is Aplasia Cutis?
The condition is characterized by congenital absence of skin. Most commonly affected parts are the scalp but any location of the body can be affected.
"He literally from the neck down, from the front and back nothing, there was no skin and even parts of his legs he had no skin," said the baby's mother, Priscilla Maldonado.
It isn't clear what causes Aplasia Cutis, but health experts think many different factors such as genes, trauma, and compromised blood flow to skin, contribute to the condition.
Some people who have the condition exhibit no other abnormalities, but there are some who also have congenital malformations that involve the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and intestinal systems of the body.
Ja'bari does have complications. His eyes are fused shut, and while his skin started to grow on its own, his fingers, toes, and neck became fused while he was in the ICU. He also has breathing difficulties because of bent airways.
Maldonado said that doctors told her there were only two other babies like Ja'bari who have been born in the United States and none of them survived.
After spending the child's first three months in San Antonio NICU, the family was advised by doctors to prepare for the worst, but they refused to give up.
Insurance Approves Transfer
Making things more difficult is they were initially denied transfer to another hospital, where the child could receive better medical treatment.
Maldonado was told by the insurance company she was out of network, so the transfer and stay of the baby would not be covered.
Maldonado's persistence, however, worked. A day after Medicaid denied the medical transfer, the insurance provider decided to approve it.
Maldonado said that she was told doctors there could treat his son's condition.