“Mila’s Remarkable Journey: A Birthmark that Sparked Fear and Resilience”
When Paige Franks gave birth to her baby girl, her first thought was filled with anxiety as she noticed a large birthmark on Mila’s neck that resembled a second head. Concerned and frightened, Paige feared the worst and immediately suspected cancer.
However, Mila’s birthmark turned out to be something different than expected. It was a congenital hemangioma, which is a collection of small blood vessels under the skin. The tennis ball-sized lump frightened Paige, who worried that it might rupture.
Throughout the following months, Paige became obsessed with measuring the birthmark, but to her relief, it started to shrink after three months. Today, the lump has completely disappeared from Mila’s neck.
Paige described her initial thoughts and concerns, “I thought she had cancer. You see a lump, and you just assume. I was in bits and in tears. For the first few weeks, I thought she was going to die. It was really scary.”
Congenital hemangiomas are birthmarks that are present from birth and reach their maximum size during fetal development. The cause of congenital hemangiomas is unknown, and they are not inherited. These birthmarks can affect both boys and girls equally. There are three types of congenital hemangiomas: rapidly involuting congenital hemangiomas (RICH), noninvoluting congenital hemangiomas (NICH), and partially involuting congenital hemangiomas (PICH).
In Mila’s case, she had a RICH, which means that the birthmark reached its maximum size while she was in the womb and then started to shrink after birth. While some congenital hemangiomas can leave behind indentations and prominent veins, Mila’s birthmark disappeared completely without leaving any significant traces.
Paige expressed her relief and hopes for Mila’s future, saying, “I was crying for weeks. It was a waiting game for a while because we didn’t know if it would ever go down. I was scared it was NICH. I was very anxious, but I did my research and discovered that if it was RICH, it would start to shrink at three to five months. I just wanted her to get to that age.”
Mila’s journey serves as a testament to the resilience and strength of both mother and daughter. While the birthmark initially caused fear and worry, Paige’s determination to understand and seek information helped her navigate the uncertainties. Mila’s remarkable recovery has brought immense relief to her family, bringing an end to a challenging chapter in their lives.
It is important to remember that congenital hemangiomas, although they can cause concern, vary in their behavior and do not always require treatment. With advances in medical knowledge and support from healthcare professionals, children like Mila can receive the care and attention they need to thrive and overcome any challenges they might face.