Miracle Mom celebrates birth of second child

Published: Mar. 10, 2015 at 1:15 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 10, 2015 at 12:36 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Stephanie Turner wasn't supposed to live to the age of 21, let alone have two children. She's the second oldest person in the world with a rare, almost always deadly, genetic condition known as Harlequin Ichthyosis. That means Turner has no top layer of skin, can't grow hair, and doesn't sweat.

The fact that she's alive is a miracle in and of itself, but Turner was blessed with a second miracle: she's was the first person in the world with Ichthyosis to have a child...now two.

WMC Action News 5 met with Turner in 2013 shortly after her first child, Willie, was born.

Labor had been excruciating and doctors didn't know what to expect.

"That was fine one day," Stephanie's husband Kurt Turner recalled. "Then two days rolled around, then we hit the third day, and she really started to have bad labor pains and they put an epidural in her. The epidural was only working on one side. She was hurting."

Stephanie Turner says she ended up having a C-section after three days in the hospital. Healing took a very long time, and Turner says she did not plan to have another child.

"I was like, 'I'm not going to do it again, I'm not going to do it again,'" said Turner. "I did it again."

Turner says her family and friends were extremely worried about her.

"Everybody was like, 'You've got to be done. We were so scared,'" Turner recalled. "It made everybody else that cared about me nervous because, what about my health? What about the baby?"

Then came Olivia. Stephanie says labor was much easier the second time, and within two hours she was holding her beautiful baby girl.

"Two hours later, I was holding her and everything was great," said Turner. "It was perfect."

However, having two little ones is a handful for Stephanie and Kurt. Her medical condition requires constant care. She says it's not painful when she lifts or holds her children, unless she has a cold.

Harlequin Ichthyosis is the result of a specific gene mutation in both parents.

Stephanie hopes her story spreads awareness for her kids' sake if nothing else.

"They will know how to answer their friends who ask about me," said Turner. "They're going to grow up with a red mom so they're going to get questioned."

Still, there's no question that this mom is an inspiration.

Turner added, "I can let people know that just because you have a disability, whether it's physical or mental or anything, don't let anything hold you back."

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