A mum admits she’s racked with ‘guilt’ after her son was born without any arms, due to an underlying genetic condition.
Lindi Martin, 40, gave birth to her son, Hutt, last year – with husband Shane Martin, 48, by her side.
While the parents were overjoyed to welcome their third child together, they were shocked to find out that their baby’s arms hadn’t developed as normal.
Hutt was diagnosed with thrombocytopenia absent radius syndrome (TAR) – an extremely rare condition that only affects one in 250,000 children and causes problems with bone marrow as well as limb growth.
As a result, Hutt was born with no arm bone at all, with his hands at his shoulders.
He also has bilateral club feet, which surgeons are in the process of correcting, as well as a milk protein and soy allergy, which can cause gastrointestinal bleeds.
‘Finding out our baby was medically complex was terrifying,’ Lindi, a stay-at-home mum from Denver, Colorado.
‘Because it’s not widely known, no one really knew what to expect and it took around five months of testing before we got the official diagnosis.
‘But we knew we would love this baby and give him everything we could to give him a happy, successful life.’
However, Lindi and Shane were also heartbroken to discover that Hutt’s condition is genetic – caused by both parents missing a tiny piece of a certain chromosome.
‘If only one of us were missing the piece, he would not have this syndrome,’ Lindi said.
‘We had three children before Hutt, and until then, neither of us knew about this.’
This revelation has left Lindi feeling ‘guilty’ and as if her ‘body betrayed’ their son.
‘I feel so guilty because I’m the reason he has the condition, these struggles, this difficult life,’ she added.
‘Deep down, I will always feel guilt, because I feel like my body betrayed him.
‘Life isn’t easy but knowing he will deal with this for life, just breaks my heart as his mum.
‘Hutt can’t feed himself yet or crawl like a typical baby, he will never clap like babies do or play baseball with my husband.’
Lindi also says she’s often left devastated by how other people treat her child.
She said: ‘There are amazing supportive people in the world, but this world is also so cruel. Knowing he will probably be talked about, made fun of and picked on his whole life – it crushes me.
‘Mean comments are something we will always deal with. I more so try to educate and respond with how amazing he is and that his disability doesn’t define him.’
Despite these difficulties, the parents are determined to give their son all the tools, resources, and help he needs to live a normal life as possible.
Lindi added: ‘We want him to be happy and know that he can do anything he sets his mind to, and we will help guide him to make any of his dreams come true.
‘I know Hutt has the greatest purpose in life – I don’t know exactly what that purpose is, but I know he was meant to do incredible things in life and no matter what, we are so unbelievably proud of him.
‘Just because someone has a disability, doesn’t mean it defines them.
‘Hutt is so loved and such a blessing to our family.’
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