Little Marcela de Jesus Galante Ferrerira continues to surprise the world.
She is now ten months old despite doctors’ predictions that she would die soon after being born.
She suffers from anencephaly, a birth defect in which the brain does not develop. Since her birth Marcela has become a symbol of the pro-life movement in a country that is debating allowing abortion in such cases.
Although babies with anencephaly tend to die shortly after birth and only in rare cases live beyond three months, Marcela has broken a world record with her ten months of life. She now weighs 24.6 pounds, surpassing the average weight of her age group.
Since April she has been at home with her parents in the city of Ribeirao Preto, 256 miles northeast of Sao Paulo.
According to her pediatrician, Dr. Marcia Beani, despite her birth defect, Marcela is very active, can recognize her mother and cries when she is not in her arms. She still is being fed with a tube, but occasionally she can take soup and soft foods. She uses an oxygen mask to breath but she can breathe on her own for around two hours per day.
[Rio de Janeiro, Sep 26, 2007, http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=10495 ]