Houston, TX (KTRK) — Born without skin and with little chance of survival, Texas babies continue to defy odds.
Chatting with her mom and interacting with her brother are moments Priscilla Maldonado was told would never happen.
But on January 1st, Jabari Gray turned four.
“He’s a fighter, that’s for sure,” said Maldonado, Jabari’s mother.
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Born on New Year’s Day 2019, he lacked most of the skin on his body.
Mom says doctors in San Antonio told her he wouldn’t survive.
He was airlifted to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston for continued medical care.
“He’s happy. He’s very funny. We can’t talk, but he’s very funny.”
However, his medical journey continues.
Jabari looks and acts like most 4-year-olds and weighs only 18 pounds.
Before he was one year old, he had a successful skin graft on 95% of his body. But because his skin was gone, his arm fused at his elbow where the skin had grown, and the same thing happened with his chin fused with the skin. on his chest, and on his toes, fingers, and one foot.
“So they automatically did what was natural and stuck where the skin was,” his mother said.
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The skin on his eyelids also grew and he became blind. Despite two surgeries to remove that skin, it grew back.
Houston doctors later dismissed the original diagnosis in San Antonio. “Nobody knows anything. When you add two and two, it’s like, ‘You don’t add anything.'”
But she says this little guy has overcome all health challenges and says he’s keen on growing and developing.
“And he wants to be able to do something, but he can’t. He’s out of balance because of his arms and legs and all that,” she said.
In February, he will undergo two more major surgeries to unfuse one of his arms, legs and around his neck.
Maldanad hopes the surgery will allow his growing son to move more freely and free him from the public surveillance and internet trolling the family has been subjected to.
“Honestly, when I pay attention to it, it feels like it’s dragging me down, so I don’t care anymore.”
Jabari’s mom says she is going through it with “a lot of strength, faith and hope.”
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