A toddler is defying all odds and inspiring everyone along the way. Soleannys Lugo says scans showed her unborn daughter’s brain, eyes and nose hadn’t formed properly, her lip was cleft and she had a clubbed foot and fused fingers.
Doctors told Soleannys that her daughter would not be “compatible with life” due to the deformities that were showing up on ultrasounds. And Doctors thought it is best to end the pregnancy but Soleannys chose a different path.
“Even though we were told she was a vegetable, I assured them she was not because she kicked me (in the womb). She responded to stimuli, when I talked to her she responded with kicks and she liked instrumental music, she moved a lot with all of this,” the Venezuelan mother said.
According to the parents, their daughter was called a “horrible thing” by strangers, with some saying she should have had an abortion because she was “ugly”.
However, Soleannys loves her daughter more than anything: “I think Helianny came into this world to teach us not to give up.”
The parents have decided to speak out in an effort to raise money to fund future surgeries that will enable Helianny to walk, talk and have as much independence as possible.
Soleannys recalled the time she was made aware of her daughter’s deformities:
“From the beginning doctors diagnosed the non-compatibility of Helianny with life. They always recommended the termination of the pregnancy. Even though we were told she was a vegetable, I assured them she was not because she kicked me. She responded to stimuli, when I talked to her she responded with kicks and she liked instrumental music, she moved a lot with all of this. I decided to give her a chance to live. I loved her with my soul and with all my heart.”
“She had a cleft lip, her eyes were not formed, her nose was not visible, her brain was not completely formed, with a clubbed foot and hands without fingers.”
Helianny was also born with hydrocephalus, which is a build-up of fluid in cranial cavities. This build-up of fluid not only causes an abnormally large head but can also cause tissue damage to the brain.
While some may have looked at her child as ugly or too much work to keep alive, Lugo’s love allows her to see her daughter through a different lens.
“I would compare Helianny’s appearance back then to a ‘supernatural queen’ because she had a crown embedded in her head. The three protrusions on her head looked like a crown, she had no eyebrows, no eyelashes, very pronounced veins on her head that seemed to burst and pink skin color in her eyes, where her eyeballs should be. Her nose was completely stuck to the skin with only two nasal holes, one very small and the other slightly larger. But even so I perceived her beauty then and still do to this day. I consider my little girl a true warrior of life, a fighter. A winner in all of the battles that she has had to fight. I believe Helianny came to this world to teach us not to give up, to stop complaining about nonsense, to live one day at a time, to be grateful with what we have.”
To this day, Helianny has had four surgeries: The first two were to drain fluid from her brain, the third was to relieve her club foot, and the fourth to help with her cleft lip.
Now Helianny’s parents are raising money to help cover future surgeries that should help her to walk and talk and help her be more independent. A GoFundMe has been set up to help them raise some of those medical funds.
“I thank God every day of my life, Helianny has life, strength, tenderness, perseverance, optimism and she is an angel. Helianny came to this world on a great mission of life, to show us that we complain about so many insignificant things and forget to be happy,” said Lugo.
“She teaches us not to give up and to fight but without ceasing to be an angel.”
Watch it here: InsideEdition/Youtube