A woman has given birth to an amazing Reindeer Boy who sports a pair of antlers!
The cuddly infant, appropriately named Rudolph is now seven months old. Despite a prominent set of pointy antlers sprouting from his head, he is in perfect health. His doctors in Nome, Alaska feel that he can have a normal life.
Rudolph bounces in the world last May 20th, with two little numbs jutting from the undeveloped antlers on his head.
“Even though I was expecting them from the tests I had during my pregnancy, I was shocked,” says mom Rachel Comito, 27. “At first he looked like the spawn of Satan.
“It was as if that horror movie Rosemary’s Baby had come true.
“But Rudolph’s the best behaved little guy in the world. He’s a real dear.”
THE REINDEER BOY PREGNANCY
Still, Rachel’s obstetrician was highly concerned when the strange formations showed up on an ultrasound five months into her pregnancy. Fearing injury to both mom and child if he was born naturally, the doctor insisted on delivering the boy by C-section. He did so to avoid a “possibly traumatic” vaginal delivery.
Rudolph weighed a whopping 91/2 pounds at birth according to medical sources.
Dr. Carl Bevenitsky, a leading neonatal specialist from Switzerland, was flown in to care for the newborn. He is the world’s leading expert on babies with unusually cranial growths.
The boy’s strange congenital deformity was initially kept from the press. Hospital officials did this to protect the family’s privacy.
“The child’s antler-like appendages result from an overgrowth of bone, a rare condition known as hyperostosis,” Dr. Bevenitsky explains.
“I’ve never seen anything quite like it before, although I once treated an infant born with what looked like a stubby rhino’s horn growing out of his forehead.”
The miracle baby’s antlers each measure about 14 inches high. “Right now they’re not fully formed,” Dr. Bevenitsky revealed. “But based on the rapid growth thus far, Id estimate that without surgery, they might easily reach as much as 32 inches by puberty.
Rudolph’s proud parents have become oddly attached to their 7-month-old son’s unique, eye-catching trait and are in no hurry to have antlers surgically removed – but the expert says the sooner, the better.
“Personally, I would remove them now, rather than later after they start to really branch out,” said Dr. Bevenitsky. “otherwise, the surgery will be more difficult and afterward, the baby might feel like something is missing.”
THE CHALLENGE OF BEING IN ALASKA
With Alaskan temperatures dipping down as low as 30 below zero at times, dressing for outdoors is a real problem for Rudolph when it comes to hats, but his mom makes him knit hats with an opening for his antlers.
His father Bob Comito, a 31-year-old forest ranger, admits the horns took some getting used to. “When I first saw those weird antlers I was a little freaked out, but now I think they’re kind of cut,” Bob said.
The dad joked: “I’ll just have to be careful when Rudolph gets older and I take him out hunting, that no one shoots him by mistake.”
The first-time parents have learned not to le the Reindeer Boy get too hungry.
“We can always tell when he wants to breastfeed, cause his little nose gets all red and he shakes his head violently,” said Rachel.
“We know he’s just like any other baby throwing a tantrum, but with those antlers, he really does look like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer sometimes.”
While mom and dad have gotten used to the antlers, they realize the horns may have to be removed. They worry that when Rudolph is able to walk he may get into a lot of trouble.
“I shudder to think what would happen if he got into a fight with another child – and butted him,” says the worried mom.
THE ONLY REINDEER BOY?
Incredibly Rudolph isn’t the first child born with horn-like appendages, Sir Jameson Wilson, the famed 19th century English dermatologist, recorded 90 cases of human horns. But these were made of nail-like substance rather than bone antlers.
“Those horns were situated on the head,” notes Dr. Bevenitsky. “A few grew from the face, with several on the nose, others on the back.
“But to the best of my knowledge, there’s no record of anyone else with perfectly formed deer-like antlers like these”