Expecting a child can raise many questions for any parent to be. For example, many want to know the gender and thanks to ultrasounds, this is possible. Although the gender can be revealed, there are many things you won’t know until your baby is born. Like how your baby will look like, for example.
Helena and Yuri Spengler have been together since elementary school and got married not so long after.
In the years since, they had three wonderful children together, and although they kept trying for more, for some reason it didn’t look like a fourth one would ever come along.
Fast forward 18 years. Helena and Yuri receive some shocking news – turns out Helena is pregnant for the fourth time at the age of 42. At this stage, she was not just a mother, but also a grandmother. Nevertheless, the parents were delighted.
Her pregnancy went smoothly and all ultrasounds looked normal.
Their new daughter, Darina, did however decide to enter the world one month too early.
In my experience, I have yet to hear any mother describe the act of giving birth as something enjoyable. Regardless of the pain and discomfort however, most mothers still refer to the experience as something beautiful and to be treasured. This wasn’t the case for Helena – in fact, it was a nightmare.
When Darina was finally born, the doctors were speechless and rushed the little baby out of the room – without Helena having a chance to even get a glimpse of her newborn daughter.
When the commotion was over and Helena had recovered, she asked to see her daughter.
The nurses seemed hesitant and nervous and asked Helena once again if she was really ready to see her. Darina was very weak and needed to be in an incubator to survive as she still faced many risks.
At first Helena only saw her baby’s tiny body, but when she finally saw her daughter’s face, she blacked out for a few minutes.
She was in such a state of shock that she had to be taken to a another room to recover. The sight of her daughter’s face terrified her.
The doctors told Helena that her daughter suffered from an unusual disease called Nager syndrome, which mainly affects the development of the face, hands and arms. Victims usually have a very small jawbone.
To make matters worse, Darina appeared to have contracted a particularly bad case of the disease. The doctors were not sure if the little girl would even make it past a few weeks.
The doctors even told Helena that she could essentially abandon her baby and leave her at the hospital and that they would make sure to put her in the hands of an orphanage if she were to survive.
In that moment, Helena’s husband Juri entered the room. Helena was scared of showing him their newborn daughter, but to her surprise Juri had a very different reaction than many of the others had. Juri went up to his daughter and said:
“There she is, our sweet little daughter”. He then cried and kissed his newborn child.
Helena felt relieved.
Soon after, the parents went home and against all odds Darina became stronger each day that passed.
People had a hard time understanding how the parents could have decided to keep a girl who they thought looked like a monster. Even friends and relatives struggled to grasp this.
Time after time they were told:
“She’ll never be able to live a normal life. She’s going to die soon. It will destroy your life.” Finally, Helena and Juri had enough and moved their family to another city.
Luckily, their three older children were always very supportive and Helena and Juri’s grandchild loved playing with his new aunt.
Darina is just like any other girl her age. She loves to watch kids’ stuff on TV, play dress up and sing to herself. Sadly this doesn’t prevent people from stopping to stare when the family go into town. Some folks even ask the parents to cover the little girl’s face so that they don’t have to see it. The parents have only one thing to say to cruel bigots like these:
“If you do not want to see her, look away, cause to us she’s beautiful.”
When Darina turned three, the parents had to turn to the public for help. She badly needed surgery on her lips and jaw so that she could start eating real food. In a desperate plea for help, the parents asked people if they could donate money to help raise enough for her surgery.
The little girl has had her first surgery but will need many more. Helena and Juri continue to struggle so that their daughter can have a future just like any other child.
After appearing in a Russian talk show, the family have now found unexpected fame throughout the country.
Darina is today a lively little girl who loves her family more than anything. Fortunately, she is still happily unaware of how cruel people can be.
Here is the episode of the talk show in which the family appear in. Unfortunately it is in Russian and has no subtitles.
With such an amazing family I’m sure Darina will live a long and happy life, even if it may be harder for her than most.
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