A 4-month-old baby is now being called ‘baby gorilla’ by his mother and father after he started growing thick hair all over his body and face after they gave him life-saving medicine.
In the first month of his life, Mateo Hernandez was found to have Congenital Hyperinsulinism, an illness that causes the pancreas to produce extremely high levels of insulin and leaves victims with dangerously low levels of blood sugar.
As a consequence, Mateo’s parents Bri Shelby, 24, and Jared Hernandez, 22, from Texas, had to put their baby on medication in order to fight the condition.
Thankfully, a couple of weeks after starting the treatment, the baby’s health improved greatly, but a strange side effect left him covered in long, dark body hair, which naturally has made him the target of a number of harsh comments from people online.
‘After a couple of weeks of being on the medication his body started changing – he got really big and started growing lots of hair on his head and body,’ Bri, who is a police officer, said.
‘It started with his head and forehead, then his legs, arms and back until it had spread to everywhere except his stomach.
‘He was bald when he came out but after a few weeks of being on the medication he’s turned into a little gorilla.
‘The doctor warned us about hair growth being a possible side effect but I never expected it to be that extreme.’
The parents say that they’ve found it hard to adjust to Mateo’s ape hair, but his health is all that matters to them.
However, the photos they shared online of their baby’s condition have drawn in some nasty comments, with some people urging them to wax him and others saying they should ‘throw him away’.
And yet, the parents insist they would rather have him hairy and healthy, than critically ill.
Bri immediately understood that something was wrong with her child when he started shaking and overeating.
And after he was diagnosed with the rare, potentially lethal condition, he was admitted to the neonatal unit where he remained for two and a half months.
‘When he was born we brought him home for a month but then I started noticing that he was shaking a lot and over eating so I took him to the doctor.
‘He was having dangerously low blood sugar – his levels were in the 30s when a healthy range is between 70 and 100, so he was at risk of having seizures or even dying.
‘He was admitted to the NICU in Texas Children’s Hospital and doctors put him on medication to control his insulin and blood sugar levels.
‘He started off on a low dose but it didn’t do much so doctors ended up putting him on the max dose.
‘It was very scary and stressful but the medication really saved his life.’
Bri and Jared now spend a good portion of their day grooming their hairy son and have even tried to remove some of his hair to manage the ever-increasing hair growth.
According to medical experts, Mateo will eventually shake off his condition and will not need the medication in the future, and that is when the hair will start falling out.
But since the condition is extremely rare, they can’t say how long exactly it would take.
‘I asked them if I could shave him but they advised against it and said it would fall off on it’s own eventually.
‘We decided to shave his face but it looks like it’s growing back already.
‘We make sure to bathe him properly and then dry and moisturize his legs and arms every day, massaging it in and then brushing all of his hair to keep it neat.’
Mateo’s extreme body hair also draws a lot of attention from people when out in public, with some commenting on how hairy he is.
‘When we go out in public people say how cute he is but say, “That’s a lot of hair, I’ve never seen that before,” and we have to explain it’s because of his condition.
‘Get some negative comments saying, “Throw the whole baby away” or telling me to wax him but I don’t care – all that matters is my baby is healthy.
‘It’s not something to be embarrassed or ashamed of and I know people wouldn’t say those things if they had their own children.
‘The medication saved his life and I’d rather him be hairy and healthy than sick.’
What are your thoughts on this story? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments and please share this article if you’ve found it of value.