Tot dubbed the ‘Baby Hulk’ because watermelon-sized tumour makes her look like a bodybuilder Tot dubbed the ‘Baby Hulk’ because watermelon-sized tumour makes her look like a bodybuilder
An adorable tot has been dubbed the ‘Baby Hulk’ due to a watermelon-sized tumour that makes her look like a bodybuilder. Madison Gatlin was... Tot dubbed the ‘Baby Hulk’ because watermelon-sized tumour makes her look like a bodybuilder

An adorable tot has been dubbed the ‘Baby Hulk’ due to a watermelon-sized tumour that makes her look like a bodybuilder.

Madison Gatlin was born with a rare disease called CLOVES, a condition that causes fluid to swell beneath her arms and chest.

The illness, caused by a gene mutation, affects only 200 people worldwide.

Doctors first spotted unusual fluid during an ultrasound at 15 weeks and believe the little girl is lucky to be alive.

Since her birth, the swelling around Madison’s upper torso and arms has continued to grow and is estimated to weigh 5lbs – the same weight as a bag of sugar.

Here is Madison in hospital after a bacterial infection - called cellulitis

Her parents have nicknamed her ‘Baby Hulk’ for her muscular appearance.

Eighteen-month-old Madison, from Crestview in Florida, USA, is considered a medical miracle after defying death and learning to walk despite doctors’ prediction she wouldn’t be able to.

Mum Joni said: “The upper half of her body looks like she’s gained weight and it makes her look like a bodybuilder, she’s like a baby Hulk.

“Her nickname started during an instance where twin boys asked me what was wrong with her, I told them her daddy was the Hulk and they thought it was the coolest thing ever.

“After I told them she was the Hulk’s daughter they wanted to be her best friend.”

Here is adorable tot Madison in her compression suit that hopes to help reduce the size of her swelling enough for her to be able to undergo lifechanging surgery

The full-time mum-of-two added: “I don’t want people to be scared of my daughter, there’s nothing wrong with her, she just has a gene malfunction.

“I’ve told younger children she’s a baby Hulk because I don’t think they would understand the condition and this way they aren’t scared of her and don’t treat her differently.

“You have to try to have a sense of humour with something like this.”

After months of testing Madison was diagnosed with the rare progressive overgrowth disorder.

Joni said: “When she was born Madison looked drastically different to what I expected, from her high waist up to her shoulders she looked very muscular.

Here is Madison shortly after she was born, you can see her upper torso is swollen due to the rare condition CLOVES and she also has a tumour shaped lump on her right arm

“The majority of her upper body and arms are filled with lymphatic fluid that her body is unable to drain back into her bloodstream – leading to cystic masses developing in those areas.

“Particularly in her right arm, the mass is currently the size of a small watermelon, it will continue to grow with her body based upon her height and weight.

“When she was born she looked like a cute little blob with legs, we believed the mass weighed 3lb, now I think it’s around 5lb.”

To prevent the growth from expanding, specialists have to perform chemical cauterisation – where a small amount of fluid is withdrawn from her body and re-injected with a mix of medication and saline.

Here is Madisons arm when it had filled with lymphatic fluid

She also has to wear compression garments 24-hours a day and has the fluid drained twice a day.

Over time it is hoped treatment will reduce the swelling to a size where surgeons will be able to operate – until then her mum has learned to treat her at home.

Joni said: “Due to her condition she needs to wear custom compression garments 24/7 and also has to take oral medication to reduce the lymphatic fluid production in her body.

“I give her lymphatic massages, then we do the compression garments and have started therapy where fluid is pulled out mixed with saline and injected back into her system.

“We are currently trying to get it down to a manageable size, then we will go through a de-bulking phase where surgeons will take out veins, reattached the blood vessels and restore blood flow back to normal.”

Doctors have praised Joni for her tireless work and have said that without her delicate care Madison would have died.

She said: “We do everything we can for Madison and she’s doing remarkably well, we’ve been told that if we didn’t do this she wouldn’t be here.”

You can see excess skin which was a result of draining the lymphatic malformation on her arm

Joni is determined not to shelter her daughter from normal life and tries to raise awareness of the condition, despite battling with comments from the public.

She said: “I’m doing everything I can as a mother, I don’t want to put her in a bubble.

“She goes outside to play – we just have to sanitise everything a lot more but she does everything any normal child can.

“It can be hard at times though, once I had rude person telling me I should have aborted her, which I was disgusted by, because every child should have a chance to live.

“It was my choice to take care of my daughter and I advocate for her very well, I make sure everyone knows about her condition.”

Joni added: “Madison is definitely a miracle child, she’s defying the odds every day.

“She’s even overcoming predictions from doctors who told us she wouldn’t be able to sit up, walk or crawl and she can do all of that.”

Obinna Onyia

  • Gershondra

    2018-02-20 #1 Author

    awee get well soon pretty girl ❤️


  • Aisha Benabese

    2018-02-28 #2 Author

    Prayers for this very sweet precious little beautiful girl. All my prayers to her family as well. #Godisgood


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