Parents Of Girl With Brain Abnormality Say They’re ‘so Happy’ She’s Their Daughter

Cassy Fiano-Chesser

The parents of a little girl with a severe birth defect have been featured in a moving Facebook video about their life with their daughter—and it shows the overwhelming love they have for her. Payton Washington has a condition where her brain didn’t completely separate into two distinct hemispheres. In an interview with Special Books for Special Kids, Payton’s parents explained that she is the light of their family.

“Her diagnosis is holoprosencephaly; for short, it’s HPE,” Payton’s mother Shaney said. On her website, Washington said they didn’t know about her diagnosis until Payton was about a month old—and she blamed herself. HPE causes developmental delays and motor delays, and various other health conditions can be associated with it. Severe cases are fatal. Initially, Payton’s dad said the doctor told them that she might not have a personality.

“But this girl, this young lady, is so full of like, energy, and life, and smiles, and giggles,” Corwin, Payton’s dad, said. “I’m so happy that she’s exactly who she’s supposed to be.” Shaney added, “She loves when I call her hunny bunny. Hi hunny bunny! And I get like a little squeaky voice.”

Throughout the video, Payton can be seen reacting to her parents’ voices, smiling, laughing, and sometimes crying, clearly proving doctors wrong about her supposed lack of personality. Another video showed her saying “mommy” for the first time, one of many exciting milestones.

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