According to his parents, the baby reportedly suffered from acrania, which is a rare facial deformity that develops inside the fetus and occurs in every 20,000 human babies. The baby’s cranial region of the face is made of flat bones and a chunk of his skull is missing.
The couple believe over-the-counter capsules containing phenylephrine HCI, chlorphenamine maleate and paracetamol that his mother took for a week during the first month of her pregnancy when she was suffering from fever might have caused her baby’s rare facial condition
“When I first saw our baby, I trembled, felt weak and almost collapsed inside the delivery room. He was almost faceless,” his father, Raven, said.
However, despite the seriousness of Matthew’s condition, he was discharged from the hospital the very next day, while his mother was kept in the Intensive Care Unit for observation for another two weeks.
Despite the unfavorable prognosis, Matthew continued to survive consuming drops of milk and vitamins every day. Although medical experts have told Isabela it would be too risky to perform major surgery on Matthew’s face due to his tender age and the fact that he weighs merely 11 pounds, the baby’s mother is hopeful a solution will present itself in the future.
“He is fighting for his life and we should also strive to provide his daily needs and always hope for a better future for our first born,” she said. “We will not let go.
We’re all fighting and looking forward that someday through God’s grace and advancement in medical science, I can see the handsome face of Matthew, God’s gift to us.”
Raven, who earns a bare minimum wage of $4 per day, working at a clothes factory, said he also had not given up on hope that Matthew will beat his condition one day as support continues to pour in from relatives and friends, helping tend to the infant’s special needs. The family traveled to Philippine General Hospital to get an array of clinical and laboratory procedures done, and to find a potential solution to Matthew’s rare condition.