A woman who was told she was infertile by doctors has given birth to a miracle albino baby.
Shannon Conarty, 22, of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, had a 10 per cent chance of conceiving naturally after she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
After three years of trying to get pregnant, the carer was shocked to discover she was expecting.
In September 2018, Shannon gave birth to healthy baby girl Ava, now four months old.
Shannon says: “Becoming a mum has always been a dream of mine.
“Ava feels like a little miracle, and even more so after she was diagnosed with albinism.”
Albinism affects the production of melanin, the pigment that colours skin, hair and eyes.
It affects around 1 in 17,000 people in the UK.
The condition can also affect eyesight as melanin is involved with the development of the retina, the thin layer of cells at the back of the eye.
In July 2011, aged 15, Shannon was diagnosed with PCOS, a condition caused by an imbalance of hormones.
She says: “My weight fluctuated and my ovarian cysts were causing me a lot of pain.
“At the time, doctors revealed I had a 10% chance of conceiving children naturally as my fallopian tubes were covered in cysts.
“As I was still in high school at the time, I never gave it a second thought.”
But two years later, when Shannon was 17, she met partner Tom Kane, 30, an asbestos remover, through mutual friends.
She says: “We fell in love and when I revealed that I was unlikely to have children, Tom was understanding.
“When I was 18, we started trying for a baby, but I never fell pregnant.
“Every month when I got my period, I was devastated.
“And the thought of never having children made me feel depressed.
“We even decided to have IVF if I didn’t conceive by the time I was 25.”
But surprisingly, three years on in January 2018, Shannon discovered she was pregnant.
She says: “Tom and I were delighted.
“My pregnancy went without a hitch, but I had extra scans to monitor me.
“And I gave birth to my little girl, Ava, in September 2018.
“When she was born, I noticed she had red eyes and white hair, but thought nothing of it.”
At two weeks old, Ava’s health visitor was concerned about the colour of her eyes.
And a month later, the newborn baby was diagnosed with albinism.
Shannon says: “We didn’t believe it.
“Doctors told us it was very rare, as children get it from their parents, me and Tom are undergoing genetic testing to see which of us carries the gene.
“Ava will always have white hair and red eyes. Her albinism makes her more sensitive to sunlight and she is partially-sighted, but we won’t know the full extent of this until she’s older.”
But the tot’s unusual eye colour draws in strangers.
Shannon says: “Every time we leave the house, people comment how beautiful she is.
“But despite the admiring remarks, I do worry about her when she gets older.
“Due to her sight problems, she’ll be unable to drive and I worry about her being bullied at school.
“But me and Tom will raise her to love herself as she is.
“After all, she’s our little miracle!”
Source: Daily Record