A baby born in the Philippines shocked his parents and doctors when he emerged from the womb with a huge horn on his head. Now thriving as a growing infant, Nhel Prado has been regarded as a blessing and has earned the nickname the "unicorn baby."
His family is waiting to gather enough funds for an operation that will remove the horn on his head. In the meantime, the baby receives round-the-clock treatment, as the horn is actually a tender lump that requires bandages.
His mother Angel Puerto and father Ronel Prado never knew that their son had a growth on his head during the pregnancy. Previous ultrasound tests did not show that something was wrong with Nhel.
"When he was born they said my baby is lucky that the brain was not affected or damaged by the lumps," the mother revealed. The parents were able to bring Nhel home following his birth, but since his lump has not stopped growing, the baby is currently getting treatment at the Pasig General Hospital.
Doctors assessed that Nhel has encephalocele, a birth defect that pushed part of his brain out of the skull during its development in the womb at four or five weeks of pregnancy. The condition develops a sac-like growth that protrudes from the skull because the neural tubes did not properly close.
Nhel's horn is actually filled with liquid under all the skin. Doctors, however, determined that the baby has not suffered any brain damage or distress because of his unusual condition.
"I hope that my baby gets better soon," the father said. "I would like to see my boy get older so I can play soccer with him like other children do. He deserves that, he's so beautiful."
In the U.S., one in 12,200 babies are born with encephalocele. Reports revealed that 85 percent of mothers who learn of their baby's condition during pregnancy opt for an abortion.
"Southern Charm" star Jennifer Snowden had to struggle with the abortion decision when she found out the baby in her womb had encephalocele. She chose to proceed with her pregnancy despite being told that the chances of a good life for her child were slim but her son, Ascher, is now celebrating milestones since his birth in 2016.
"I tore up the abortion papers and every single night I said a novena to St Joseph and St Gerard," Snowden shared with Daily Mail. "I made God a promise. I promised him that if he healed my baby I would use the platform of the show to tell everyone what He'd done."