Anna Ciesielska had no idea that her baby boy would be born with a rare skin condition that would affect his appearance. The doctors had initially told her that he wouldn’t survive, but Michal Winter proved them wrong.
Anna, like most expectant mothers, had been looking forward to life with her new baby. However, things took a different turn when she saw Michal for the first time a few hours after delivery.
Looking at Her Son for the First Time
Michal was diagnosed with Harlequin ichthyosis, a rare genetic disorder that causes thick, hard scales to cover the skin. The condition affected his entire body, including his face and limbs, making it difficult for him to move or even close his eyes. Due to the tightness of his skin, he couldn’t nurse properly and had to be fed through a tube.
As Anna held her newborn son, she was devastated to see him in such a state. She had no prior knowledge of the condition and was unaware of what the future held for her baby.
“It was a huge shock. I thought I was going to have a healthy baby. Not even the doctors at first knew what was wrong with him.”
People Couldn’t Stop Staring at Him
After coming to terms with Michal’s condition, his parents gained confidence in taking care of him. However, they were unaware that taking their son out in public would pose a challenge.
Anna would often notice strangers staring at Michal whenever she took him out in public. Some people were simply curious about his unique appearance, but others would approach Anna and offer to help in any way they could.
The Mother Wasn’t Happy about It
According to the young mother, “Michal is a perfectly normal boy with a wonderful nature, he just has this skin condition.” However, it saddened Anna to see people staring at her son when they went out in public. She wanted people to treat him like any other baby, and their curious questions made her uncomfortable. She expressed her feelings by saying:
“I was in a shop, and someone came up to us and was staring at Michal and asked if he was a doll.”
According to the mother, the stranger’s facial expression changed upon seeing Michal move. Due to his skin condition, the stranger had mistaken Anna’s son for a doll and assumed he would remain motionless.
They Wanted the Best for Him
Despite receiving unique treatment, young Michal remained determined to socialize with others and explore the outdoors. His parents shared the same desire for him to lead a normal life like other children his age.
To help care for his skin, Anna and her husband Sebastian planned to purchase a hydrotherapy bath for Michal. However, due to its high cost, the couple had to fundraise before being able to afford it. They hoped the bath would assist their son in self-care.
Given Michal’s rare skin condition, Anna adhered to a strict skincare regimen to ensure his skin was well-maintained. She went to great lengths to guarantee that her son’s skin always looked its best.
Looking After Her Baby Boy
During Michal’s initial medical evaluation and testing, the doctors informed Anna that her baby would not survive beyond a few weeks. The scaly condition of Michal’s skin made him susceptible to infections and dehydration, placing his life in danger. Nevertheless, Anna expressed:
“He’s overcome so much, and despite the challenges he faces, he’s such a happy and loving child.”
The mother faced numerous difficulties while caring for her baby. She disclosed that she applies two creams to her baby’s skin six times each day, in addition to providing him with a specific moisturizing bath. Furthermore, she limits his exposure to sunlight and ensures a comfortable temperature inside the house.
The Never-Ending Challenges
Anna must carefully tend to Michal’s skin to prevent it from becoming too dry, which could cause him pain. It is challenging for her to regulate the temperature and protect him from sunlight to prevent skin burns.
Due to Michal’s vulnerability to illness, Anna must take care not to expose him to viruses. Nevertheless, she feels fortunate to have supportive individuals around her to assist her.
Despite being given a bleak prognosis by doctors, Michal is thriving and leading a joyful life with his family. He enjoys interacting with others and behaves like any other child his age.
Michal’s tale reminds us that situations may appear hopeless at times, but one must remain resilient, put forth their best effort, and have faith in the future’s prospects. Just as in Michal’s case, everything can work out well in the end.