The decision to start a family is not one which should be taken lightly. Raising a child truly does take a village, especially if that child is somehow in need of extra support because they are born with a life-changing condition.
But few children have a condition that puts their life in danger every time they close their eyes.
Silvana and Roberto Teixeira are parents from Zamora, Spain, and they spent years desperately trying to start a family. It wasn’t until four years after their first attempt at falling pregnant that the couple finally conceived a child through IVF.
They were thrilled at the prospect of becoming parents. Little did they know that their struggles wouldn’t end with the birth of their baby girl.
“I think that for every father this is the biggest thing that ever existed,” Roberto said. “To have a child is the most beautiful and most important thing in his life.”
The couple’s baby girl, who they named Paula, was born at 41 weeks via c-section. Roberto was overjoyed to be able to hold his tiny little bundle of joy in his arms after she was born.
Unfortunately, just a few hours later, it became clear that Paula had stopped breathing. The situation was so dire that she had to be rushed to an emergency hospital 40 minutes away from where she was born.
“I wanted to go with her,” Silvana recalled. “I wanted to be by her side, I wanted my baby because, why did they take her away? I was feeling like they snatched her from me.”
At the emergency hospital, baby Paula was put on life support, and after two months of rigorous testing, she was diagnosed with Ondine Syndrome.
“Since Paula came home, we can’t sleep as we used to before,” Silvana revealed. “One of your eyes is closed and the other is wide open thinking is everything okay.”
Ondine Syndrome is an incurable respiratory disorder that severely affects the nervous system, which controls the body’s heart rate and blood pressure.