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WARNING: You Will Be Shocked At These Medical Marvels!

Updated on July 14, 2009
Becca at 1 year
Becca at 1 year
Mandy Sellars, 34 years old
Mandy Sellars, 34 years old

 Have you ever seen a 13 ounce baby survive a whole day, much less a year and going? Have you ever  seen  a woman with 200+ pound  legs? Would you want to know how the live the ordinary lives we all carry out? These is truly amazing! We have gone so far in medical history and modern medicine to give these fortunate few a life worth having and share the beauty God has blessed us all!

The Story of Becca

June 21, 2008, wasn't just any day for John and Nancy Hill. It was the day they delivered Becca at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Tennessee. She was delivered by C-section 12 weeks early because her mom had developed HELLP Syndrome.

Devote in their Christian faith, and ministers of United Methodist Church in their local town of Bethpage, Tennessee, they didn't want to believe that at 17 weeks gestation that Nancy would miscarry.Though the baby wasn't developing correctly and on target, they knew God had a plan for them and their first baby. The baby was born at 13 ounces, the weight of a can of coke or a medium apple.

Nancy begged throughout her surgery, " even if it's just two or three minutes, I want those two or three minutes with my baby. I don't want to wake up and find out she's already died."

Becca's liver could be seen through her skin and her head was abnormally large fr her stick thin limbs.

It was a month before Becca's parents were able to hold her and four months before they were able to take her home from the hospital. The total cost of her care was roughly $1 million.

Becca will probably always be smaller than her peers. At one year of age, she is the size of a three month old, 13 pounds. However, when you consider that that is 16 times her birth weight (a typical 1 year old is 3 times their birth weight), that's hefty!

And because she was born prematurely she's at risk for developmental delays and other health problems, such as diabetes, later in life. However, for now, she is sitting on her own and loves to giggle and tickle people. That's all that matters to her parents.

Becca at Birth

The Story of Mandy Sellars

Mandy Sellars is your typical, single 34-year-old woman. She loves to go the movies, hang out with her friends, go out for lunch and have a good chat. But there is just one thing that sets Sellars apart: She suffers from a rare condition that has caused her legs to grow at an alarming rate.

At birth, the problem was obvious, and the doctors would allow her parents see her right away. In fact, they didn't allow her parents to see her untl she was 2 weeks old.

Doctors were concerned because Sellars was born with abnormally large legs and feet. At the time, they didn’t have a diagnosis, and it wasn’t until she was about 2 years old that her parents were told she had lymphedema, which causes extreme swelling in your arms and legs. The problem was – it was the wrong diagnosis.

However, Mandy never had lymphedema. It was actually Proteus Syndrome. Proteus Syndrome is characterized by abnormal growth in the tissues, typically the limbs, a condition also thought to have plagued the "Elephant Man".

Although Sellars faced great challenges as a child, she didn't let her disorder slow her down.

“I wasn’t really held back in anything,” she said. “I could run around and play soccer and play outside with my friends at home – even climb trees and things like that. So to me, it was just like an average childhood, really.”

Sellars excelled in school and went to collegeto study graphic design – eventually taking courses in sociology, psychology and criminology. Her dream job is to become a forensic scientist, but so far her condition has prevented her from fulfilling that dream. Over the years, the disorder has resulted in her legs consistently growing larger and larger, which has greatly affected her mobility. When Sellars was in her late 20s, she suffered a major setback and wound up in the hospital paralyzed from the waist down for about 10 weeks.

She now walks with crutches.

“Luckily I have very strong muscles, which help me walk around and get dressed and do the daily things that need to be done,” Sellars said. “But I mean, just walking is exercise for me… you know, because I’m getting a workout just doing that.”

Mandy Sellars today
Mandy Sellars today

Mandy's Future

 Mandy weighs 280 pounds. Two-thirds of that weight, 200 pounds, are solely in her legs.

As for the future – MAndy faces some tough decisions. Because her legs continue to grow ever larger, the only option she has been offered is amputation.

“I have been to see a doctor in London about the amputation, but it’s still up in the air at the moment as to what exactly would happen,” she said. “The doctors suggested a hip disarticulation, where they cut your leg off at the hip joint, but to me that’s just unreasonable.”

Her positive attitude can't be rivaled. As she puts it, “My goal is to keep on walking as long as I can,” she said. “That’s the goal from today, tomorrow, the next day, next week and next month. Obviously, having my legs amputated is quite scary... but I look at it in a way that once I have my legs amputated, it will be a new kind if life – it won’t be any better or any worse from the life I have now – it will just be a different life and a start of a new chapter.”


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    • AsherKade profile image

      AsherKade 8 years ago from Texas

      Suiiki, you are gonna make me cry....


    • Suiiki profile image

      Suiiki 8 years ago from City of the Newly Wed and Nearly Dead

      The baby you wrote about reminds me of one of my best friends. She is about 23 now, but she was born very, very early and had major problems. her lungs had only started developing and her heart was not ready to work on it's own. She was given a 0% chance to live, and the doctors told her parents that by keeping her on life support they were just delaying the inevitable. When they finally did give up and unplug her she started breathing on her own, and her heart started beating! Even though she is small for her age and has some medical problems, she is now in college and living a full, happy life. It's a miracle, what God can do, and the medical science that He has given us to save babies like my friend and the child you wrote about.

    • JonTutor profile image

      JonTutor 8 years ago from USA

      Truly medical article.

    • AsherKade profile image

      AsherKade 8 years ago from Texas

      my child wasn't premature, but she had a lot of medical problems that forced her to be on a lot machines too. The story forced me back to those dark days in 1999.

    • Alissa1985 profile image

      Alissa1985 8 years ago from Arkansas

      What a beautiful baby! So glad that she is ok now. That would be so scary!

    • AsherKade profile image

      AsherKade 8 years ago from Texas

      thank you all!!!!!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 8 years ago from London, UK

      Inspirational Hub - enjoyed it. :)

    • profile image

      ralwus 8 years ago

      What a miracle baby. So happy for them. Now poor Mandy is aonther story. I wish her the best. But she is doing pretty well it seems. Nice hub.

    • advisor4qb profile image

      advisor4qb 8 years ago from On New Footing

      Well, I can relate to the premie baby, as all three of mine were premies. But she is certainly a miracle baby, being born that early! My earliest was 33 weeks. 

      As for the other!  It seems like amputation is a little on the extreme side to me.  I feel sorry for her to have to face that kind of decision!

    • AsherKade profile image

      AsherKade 8 years ago from Texas

      thx jill!!!!!!!!

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 8 years ago from Philippines

      Very inspiring people!

      Thank you for sharing Asherkade.

    • AsherKade profile image

      AsherKade 8 years ago from Texas

      your compliment is very much appreciate(I am really struggling with these hubs...). I will pray for her tonight....

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Good hub, Asherkade. My sister right now is struggling to have a child via in-vitro...So far, she's attempted in-vitro for the third time. Each "try" is roughly $15,000.