Mom: “My daughter is compatible with life!”

On August 6, 2013, Angela was born with Mosaic Trisomy 13, a chromosome abnormality considered “incompatible with life.” But Baby Angela is a fighter, and she continues to prove her doctors wrong by surpassing their expectations, according to her mom, Destiney Smith.

On August 6, 2013, Angela was born with Mosaic Trisomy 13, a chromosome abnormality considered “incompatible with life.” But Baby Angela is a fighter, and she continues to prove her doctors wrong by surpassing their expectations, according to her mom, Destiney Smith.

By Lancaster resident and loving mother Destiney Smith.

In December, I found out that I was pregnant with my first child. I had what was called a high-risk pregnancy, because I wasn’t able to hold down many foods and I was losing weight instead of gaining. I had extreme morning sickness as well. The multiple medications that my doctors were prescribing were not working, and my doctors were concerned.

Baby Angela is the joy of her mom’s life.

Baby Angela is the joy of her mom’s life.

When I went in for my 20-week ultrasound, I found out that I was having a baby girl. I was very excited because that was exactly what I wanted to hear. Less than a week later, I got a phone call from my doctor saying they wanted me to see a perinatologist (high-risk doctor) because they saw some abnormalities at my 20-week ultrasound, which were soft markers for Down syndrome. I made the appointment for the next week, which wasn’t soon enough for me to find out what was going on with my daughter.

The perinatologist told me that Angela was very small for her gestational age, she had an extra digit on one of her hands, her stomach bubble was absent, she had a possible cleft lip and pallet, her heart looked like it had a hole in it, and that it could mean a type of syndrome because she always kept her fist clenched. At one point, I remember her saying that it could be a syndrome that she could not survive. I was devastated hearing this news about my daughter, but at my next ultrasound she gave us thumbs up! This is how I knew that my daughter would be a fighter.

As I continued my weekly checkups, my perinatologist suggested that I do amniocenteses. I respectfully declined because I already had a high risk pregnancy and didn’t want to further the chances of a miscarriage. My perinatologist referred me to have a [labor] induction on August 5 in Los Angeles, because that was the closest place that had the level of care my daughter would need once she was born.  A social worker sent in a referral for temporary housing at the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald house, so I could be close to the hospital before I delivered.

I delivered Angela on Tuesday, August 6 at 12 p.m. and held her in my arms just long enough to take two photos. Then the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit team whisked her away to the NICU. I later found out that the cord was wrapped around her neck, and her heart rate was going down as I was delivering her. I found out about an hour later that she was five pounds and three ounces and had a cleft lip and pallet as well as the extra digit on her hand. I was able to see her about five hours later when the NICU team cleared me to see her.

Angela is currently in the hospital awaiting a weight gain to be sent home on the ventilator.

Angela is currently in the hospital awaiting a weight gain to be sent home on the ventilator.

A few days after Angela was born, the Genetic counselor came to my bedside and told me that Angela had what was called Mosaic Trisomy 13 (Patu Syndrome), which is deemed to be incompatible with life. My heart was broken and my eyes filled with tears. I had many questions that the geneticist couldn’t really answer because I was told this chromosome abnormality is so rare. The only thing he was able to tell me is that my precious daughter Angela probably wouldn’t live past a few days, a few months, maybe even her first birthday. He mentioned words such as never being able to walk, talk, and severe mental retardation.

Can you imagine being told this news about your own child?

I was in shock and total disbelief that my daughter could have these things wrong with her. This prompted me to do some research of my own. I found support groups online where I could talk to other moms impacted by their child’s diagnosis of Trisomy 13, 18, and or 21.

Mosaic Trisomy 13 is a chromosomal abnormality that does a lot of different things to the body,such as heart defects, kidney problems, neurological problems, bone disorders, respiratory problems, as well as many others. Between 1 and 1,000 and 1 and 21,700 babies are born with this condition, and 95% are miscarried or stillborn. These are the types of things that I was able to find out from other moms as well as through online research. Those moms and their stories gave me hope that Angela was going to be a fighter and live past what the genetic counselor told me.

Angela has already lived past her doctor's expectations.

Angela has already lived past her doctor’s expectations.

After 15 days of being in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at four pounds and 12 ounces, Angela was able to come home to Lancaster. She had already lived past the few days they said that she might have had.

Five days later, she was rushed to Antelope Valley Hospital because she stopped breathing while I was feeding her and had to be resuscitated. We were able to have a police escort to the hospital in the ambulance. The next day she was air lifted back to a Los Angeles hospital, where she was later diagnosed with a floppy air way and Central Apnea. Following this diagnosis, they were able to do surgeries for a Tracheostomy and g-tube. Shortly after, they placed her on a ventilator to help her breathe at minimal settings.

Angela is currently in the hospital awaiting a weight gain to be sent home on the ventilator. She continues to prove her doctors wrong by being here today and surpassing their expectations. My daughter, along with many others, are examples that prove children with Trisomy 13 and 18 are compatible with life! To find out more about Angela and follow her journey, please visit her Facebook page at or go to

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The AV Times.

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  17 comments for “Mom: “My daughter is compatible with life!”

  1. Melody
    November 20, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    That right there, my friend, is a LIFE. Even if those fist few precious photos were the beginning and the end, it is indeed a life and it is a life well lived and loved.
    A lot of words to say – she is a darling little girl. Looks like her mama! And she is definitely compatible with life. 100 years are promised to no one. Hold her while you can and just keep loving that adorable baby. XOXO!

  2. Carre Olson
    November 20, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    May God bless you and your little sweetie! I will be praying for strength and peace for you all! <3

  3. Cherrie
    November 20, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Congratulations on your precious little gift! You are in my prayers… keep on loving!

  4. John Pate
    November 20, 2013 at 4:23 am

    Kids with Mosaic Trisomy 13 can survive. My son Stephen, had full T13 and unfortunately died aged 7 months. Have you heard of a charity called SOFT, created to help parents of Trisomy kids. They were a great help to us, as they are more knowledgeable than the medical profession. Good luck and best wishes.

    • Claudia
      January 7, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      Hello John , i have a doughter that has full trisomy 13..they told me of taquiotromy as paliative care since she can hardly brief… Did you go thrue this too? Thanks

  5. Phoebe
    November 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Beautiful mom and beautiful girl. Yes your girl is going to be a fighter just like you! Peace and strength are my prayers for you

  6. JOYCE
    November 19, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Prayers for your special little Angel…she is with you for a reason…

  7. cheryl
    November 19, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    My daughter was diagnosed with the same type and at age 4 she is right at the same level as “normal” intellectual kids. Best advice is get her healthy and happy and raise her as you would any other child and the extra when its needed. Bless your girl and hang in there and fight for her as I love proving those doctors wrong!

  8. J
    November 19, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    May God bless your daughter and you. I pray you have many more days, months, years with her. I will pray for both of you.

  9. G
    November 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Prayers out for you and this beautiful baby girl! Lord please bless her with the health to overcome this, & please bless her family with strength to endure this!

  10. Jennifer Blackmon
    November 19, 2013 at 11:38 am

    What a precious miracle! Many prayers for her and your family! Keep fighting baby Angela! We are All rooting for you!

  11. carla willkett
    November 19, 2013 at 11:11 am

    shes so beauitful and she will be here for a very long time and shes’s a fighter so prayers for baby angela god bless her and your family

    November 19, 2013 at 9:31 am

    You’ve been blessed with a beautiful girl! Thank God.

  13. Colleen
    November 19, 2013 at 6:31 am

    Special babies are meant for special parents! May God continue to empower you to advocate for Angela and the Trisomy community! You both are beautiful!

  14. Cindy
    November 19, 2013 at 5:33 am

    Congratulations on your darling baby girl! Wishing you all strength and peace. I was so interested to read your story because I have a Robertsonian Translocation which often results in trisomy 13. I have had three miscarriages which we believe are due to that. We have since had three healthy children. I was also surprised that your daughter was born on our anniversary. We recently moved to Quartz Hill. Just wanted to connect with you and offer our support.

  15. B. Allen
    November 18, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Angela is a beautiful gift from God. We all take for granted the health of our children, but some people are given special children who require lots of special care. The Holidays are coming and my wish is that people of the Antelope Valley will help Angela’s family as they have lots of expenses that insurance doesn’t cover and they are hoping to bring Angela home from hospital soon.

  16. Hayleysmama
    November 18, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    What a Beautiful little miracle baby you are!!! You are in my prayers pretty girl!! <3

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