Pregnancy/Babies | Family

Doctors Gave Her A Death Sentence, But The "World's Tiniest Girl" Keeps Proving Them Wrong

Emma Newman / Barcroft

Every mother's worst nightmare is learning that there is something wrong with your unborn child.

Even having to change plans from a natural birth to a c-section can be incredibly nerve-wracking, but that's sometimes a best case scenario.

When a woman from England went into labor a few weeks early, she and her husband had no idea what to expect.

But what doctors discovered changed their lives forever.

"I started to panic"

Ultrasound
Dr. Wolfgang Moroder - Wikimedia

Emma Newman and her husband Scott Garside had three healthy daughters already. During Newman's fourth pregnancy, nothing in her scans gave her reason to be alarmed.

"I was massive," she remembered, "so we didn’t think there was anything to be worried about."

The first sign that something was wrong came Newman went into labor four weeks early.

"They examined me and said I was only 24 weeks pregnant but I’d already had scans and knew that wasn’t right," she said.

"I started to panic."

Doctors told Newman to expect a premature baby, but she assumed they meant a three or four pound child.

Instead, her daughter Charlotte weighed just two pounds when she was born, and the little girl's appearance stunned her parents.

Primordial dwarfism

Charlotte Garside
TLC

By a twist of fate, both of Charlotte's parents carried the gene for a rare genetic condition called primordial dwarfism.

The condition is so rare, only about 200 people around the world have it - and Charlotte's variety didn't even have a name.

Primordial dwarfs are born tiny, and grow very little as they age, leaving them looking like little human dolls.

And growing up to be less than three feet tall hasn't been easy for Charlotte.

"One in a million baby"

Newman remembers that her daughter looked like a "porcelain doll" when she was born.

Charlotte Garside baby photo
Emma Newman

At just two pounds and less than 10 inches long - the size of a 16-week premature baby - Charlotte's parents weren't even allowed to pick her up for days after her birth.

She spent her first 13 weeks of her life in the hospital, and doctors warned that she might never see her first birthday.

Primordial dwarfs suffer from many health problems, including being too small to safely eat solid food - Charlotte still uses a stomach tube to eat.

As they get older, their risk of dying from a sudden aneurysm is also extremely high.

Almost no primordial dwarfs survive their teenage years.

But Charlotte's parents insist she's their "one in a million baby," and she's been flourishing ever since.

A little life

Charlotte's first baby soother was the size of a dime, and her first diaper was the size of a credit card.

Charlotte Garside
Newman plays with her daughter.Barcroft

She had to wear doll's clothes, because everything else was too big.

Even as a toddler, Charlotte could only fit into newborn clothes.

Today, Charlotte is just over two feet tall, and while she looks like "she could break in half," Charlotte's sister says she's surprisingly tough.

"When people first meet her they are afraid she might break if they touch her - but she's quite scrappy and doesn't sit still for a second" her older sister Chloe explains.

"She loves tearing around the house and being thrown in the air."

And that toughness has helped Charlotte through her everyday challenges, including going to school.

"She may be small but she has a massive personality"

Plenty of parents are scared to send their children out into the world, but Charlotte's parents don't fret too much about her.

They were determined to send her to a regular grade school, even though she stood out among other children her age.

Charlotte Garside
Barcroft

"She is not the sort of person who will fade into the background," Newman said.

"She may be small but she has a massive personality and wants to do everything a normal five-year-old does."

Sadly, Charlotte's condition hampered her success at school.

Charlotte Garside
Barcroft

As a five-year-old, her tutors say she had the brain development of a three-year-old.

Charlotte's parents planned to transfer her to a special school after two years, but said "95 per cent of the staff and pupils will be crying when she leaves."

Still, there's nothing else to be done.

"Charlotte has come along leaps and bounds when it comes to her social skills and learning a routine," Newman explains, "but she’s behind in lessons."

"She still has the mind of an 18-month-old."

Not worrying about "what-ifs"

Every new birthday for Charlotte is a little worrying for her parents, but their daughter has already proven to be very lucky.

Charlotte Garside
Barcroft

Doctors were worried Charlotte had a highly fatal "type 1" variety of her condition, but that turned out not to be the case.

Instead of counting down the time they have left with their daughter, Charlotte's parents are having fun and embracing the everyday joys.

"She is such a driven, determined person," said Newman.

"We’ve stopped thinking about the what-ifs, now we’re having the best time we can"

And part of the fun of raising Charlotte is putting her next to everyday objects that seem giant.

The Littlest Girl in the World

Charlotte had fun posing next to a continental giant rabbit.

Charlotte Garside
Barcroft

Don't get the wrong idea, Charlotte is very small, but the rabbit is also a real whopper, with ears the size of bananas.

The guinea pig in her sister's arms was a much better fit for the little girl.

Charlotte Garside
Barcroft

Meanwhile, even a pint-sized shetland pony looks massive next to the little girl.

Charlotte Garside
Barcroft

Even at home, Charlotte is dwarfed by objects in her kitchen like milk cartons and soda bottles.

Charlotte Garside
Barcroft
Charlotte Garside
Barcroft

Her favorite toy to play with is a doll's car big enough for her to ride around in, but Charlotte also likes her teddy bear.

Charlotte Garside
Barcroft

Charlotte's life isn't always easy, but it does look pretty fun!

Hopefully Charlotte stays happy and healthy for years to come!

[H/T: HuffPost, Daily Mail, Mirror,

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories. CONTACT: zachary@shared.com