A Brazilian woman whose daughter’s head kept growing due to a rare condition claims her child is constantly ridiculed.
“I will love her until the last day of her life,” Adalgisa Soares Alves, 48, told Jam Press.
Her daughter, Graziely, suffers from hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the cavities deep in the brain that causes the ventricles to enlarge and put pressure on the organ, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“Cerebrospinal fluid normally flows through the ventricles and bathes the brain and spine,” they write. “But the pressure from too much cerebrospinal fluid associated with hydrocephalus can damage brain tissue and cause a range of brain function problems.”
The rapid accumulation of fluid can cause the patient’s head to quickly swell to an “unusual” size, as was the case with Graziely.
Alves first realized something was wrong after experiencing a stomach ache while pregnant with the child – the eldest of three siblings.
The discomfort increased to the point that by the time she was eight months pregnant, she was having trouble getting out of bed.
A subsequent ultrasound revealed that Graziely had an unnaturally large head for a newborn, after which doctors revealed the diagnosis.
Unfortunately, they estimated she would only live a few months due to the buildup of fluid in the skull.
Now, at 29 years old, Graziely seems to have defied expectations.
However, life has not been a picnic: her head has continued to swell throughout her life to the point where she is now unable to walk, speak or see despite multiple surgeries.
Graziely currently needs round-the-clock care with Alves – who is her full-time caregiver – who feeds, cleans and bathes her as she cannot do this on her own.
The struggles aren’t just physical: Graziely’s supernaturally large noggin has made her a magnet for insensitive remarks, which started when she was born and the doctors called her a “big baby.”
“I don’t think it’s cruel because ‘baby’ is a loving word, but when they call her ‘big head’ I feel sad,” Alves lamented. “Because that’s just being cruel.”
However, the determined mother will not let the haters down. “The most important thing is that I, and all our family and friends, love Graziely just the way she is.”
“I am devoted to Graziely and it makes me happy to see her being well taken care of, from me and our entire family,” she said. “I’m happy to take care of her and it’s satisfying to see her smile.”
In an effort to raise awareness of her baby’s condition, Alves regularly posts video and photo updates of her pride and joy on her Instagram page, which has more than 8,000 followers.
One clip with more than 100,000 views showed the parent feeding Graziely from a bottle.
The internet masses were moved by Alves’ devotion to her child with one commenter writing, “God bless you so.”
“This lady is a wonderful mother,” another praised, while a third wrote, “Ms. Adalgisa, you are an angel, beautiful soul, may God always bless you.
Currently, Graziely’s family depends on BPC payments – a non-contributory retirement plan for people who are unable to work due to a disability – to stay afloat financially.
Part of this will go toward paying for diapers for her Graziely, which costs Alves a whopping 2,250 reais (more than $450) a month.
Despite the constant struggle, the devoted mother vows to never “lose hope.”
“I am a woman of great faith and I always put God above everything – I pray a lot every day,” Alves stated. “I always hope she lives [for] many years.”