A baby girl has earned the affectionate nickname “Mini Hulk” due to a rare medical condition that has given her exceptionally large biceps. Nine-month-old Armani Milby’s journey began when she was born prematurely via an emergency C-section at 33 weeks. Doctors had identified a severe form of lymphangioma, a rare genetic condition characterized by abnormal lymphatic system malformations that can manifest anywhere on the skin and mucous membranes, according to the National Institute of Health.
Armani’s condition caused significant swelling in her arms and chest, resulting in her being three times the weight of an average baby her age. During her pregnancy, her mother, Chelsey, was often mistaken for having triplets due to Armani’s size. Chelsey first learned of the condition at the 17-week mark, and she recalls feeling devastated and heartbroken.
“I had never, ever, heard of the diagnosis before, and honestly, I had looked into it, and I didn’t really like the results with some of the pictures,” Chelsey said. “When I found out, to be honest, I was devastated, I was heartbroken. I didn’t understand what happened, what went wrong because I had two other healthy babies, and I cried every day. Every day, I asked God why.”
Despite the challenges and the initial discouraging prognosis, Chelsey and her family never considered abortion. They were determined to support Armani as best as they could. Medical experts had given the baby a minimal chance of survival and suggested she might not cry at birth.
However, Armani defied all odds and came into the world crying, filling the room with emotion and astonishment. To ensure Armani received specialized care, the family relocated 100 miles to Cincinnati for a three-month period.
Chelsey described her pregnancy as rough, with persistent pain that made everyday life increasingly challenging. She made the decision to have Armani delivered at 33 weeks due to her deteriorating health, as fluid needed to be regularly drained from her abdomen.
“To everyone’s surprise, she came out crying, and everybody in the room was emotional. No one knew what was going to happen. It’s a very magical story,” Chelsey shared.
Armani’s journey is far from over; she is scheduled for surgery later this year. The procedure will involve the removal of excess lymphatic vessels, allowing her body to gradually reach a more typical size. Subsequently, she can undergo surgery to address the excess skin.
Chelsey expressed her joy and gratitude, saying, “She’s doing wonderful. She literally is my miracle baby, and we just love her so much.”