Juliana Wetmore was known around the world as the “girl born without a face.”
First Coast News, who had been tracking the girls progress shared an update on how the little girl was doing. She is now 12-years-old and doing well. She is playing the violin will be graduating from the fifth grade soon.
IJReview reached out to, Tami Wetmore, Juliana’s mother to hear about their family’s amazing story.
According to Tami Wetmore, she noticed early in her pregnancy that there was something different with her baby. The technician doing her ultrasound was not able to locate Juliana in her womb.
The Westmores returned for a follow-up ultrasound and were sent to a hospital which deals with high-risk pregnancies. At the hospital, they were then able to locate Juliana but were then told that she was not developing typically.
The were then asked to come up with the decision to end the difficult pregnancy or continue on.
“We were a little-taken aback by the question. We are not supposed to have all of the answers, we know the one who does!”
Thom and Tami decided to continue on with the little life growing in her belly.
“[Julaina’s] birth was very traumatic. The doctors and staff were very prepared and God was orchestrating every detail of it. We had been told that if my water broke anywhere but in the hospital she most likely would not survive. The doctor ended up having to break my water. She was born an hour-and-47-minutes later.”
After having to spend 16 full days days in the NICU, Thom and Tami were finally able to Take Juliana home to meet her big sister Kendra.
Others may wonder how it is like having a child with Treacher Collins – a condition that affects the development of bones and other tissues of the face, is.
“We have never treated Juliana as different other than her medical needs. She is expected to work hard in school and earn her grades just like any of our other children. She is expected to keep her room tidy and she has responsibilities in our house, just as everyone else does.”
The greatest challenge they’ve faced as a family was having to watch Juliana undergo many surgical procedures.
“There have been two separate occasions over the years when as parents we have heard “she may not make it through this”. Both times the only control that we had was to hit our knees and pray healing over our precious girl.”
She continued on saying,
“We are forever grateful for the special people who have cared for [Juliana]. Dr. Anthony Wolfe is her Craniofacial surgeon and we are blessed by his expertise in the field.”
Other than that, Juliana is a perfectly normal and happy little girl who loves to watch movies and play music. She also plans on becoming a deaf teacher when she grows up.
Juliana now has a few extra siblings besides her older sister Kendra; there is Danica, Kyra, Alexis and Caleb who are adopted.
Danica, from Ukraine, also has Treacher Collins. After adopting Danica, the family couldn’t stop there. That was when they continued to adopt Kyra, Alexis and Caleb.
Tami had given advice for people who may encounter someone that is “different”?
“Treat them with kindness. Chances are they are more like you than you think. Please be respectful and speak with kind words, but ask your questions. Think first about how you would want that same question asked to you.”
Video: USA Today