Irina Cretu, an expecting mother from London, was extremely excited when she found out she was pregnant. She desperately longed to have a child of her own.
Her world was shaken when she went to see her doctors and they informed her that there was a very high likelihood that her baby, if born, would likely have to deal with and suffer from many different medical issues.
As such, they recommended that she terminate her pregnancy in order to avoid this high possibility.
But Irina wanted her baby more than anything else. So, she decided to carry on with her pregnancy, providing her unborn child a fighting chance of survival.
On August 11 in 2016, she delivered little baby Albert at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
But as soon as he was born, something was visibly wrong. His skin was completely covered in wrinkles, with his stomach appearing the most wrinkly of all.
He resembled an old man much more than a newborn baby!
Albert was taken quickly to the neonatal intensive care unit. Doctors originally suspected that he had posterior urethral valves, but after four days, doctors revealed what the problem was.
Albert had what is known as prune belly syndrome, a rare medical condition that is characterized by a lack or complete non-existence of abdominal muscles, which leads the skin to appear wrinkly.
But prune belly syndrome isn’t just that alone – it comes with its share of complications.
Albert wound up suffering from gastrointestinal complications, renal issues, respiratory problems, and even kidney disease.
The syndrome is also very volatile in that Albert could be completely fine on one day and then be in a near-fatal situation the day after.
Albert had to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit for more than a month. Within a year, he was able to overcome countless health issues, but so far has spent much more time at a hospital than at home.
But now, Irina is trying to do everything she can to give Albert a completely life-changing surgery, which can only be sought in the United States at a very high price.
Right now, Albert is somewhat medically stable, but he only has one working kidney that functions at less than 70% its optimal abilities.
He has had multiple recurring sepsis infections and has many more major surgeries coming up.
The best chance he has at a less medically challenging life is reconstruction surgery on his abdominal muscles.
This surgery will involve moving muscle from Albert’s thigh into his abdomen through a transplant.
Not only will this help his kidney problems, but it will also improve his digestion, respiration, spinal issues, cardiovascular problems, and urinary tract health.
Without these muscles in his abdomen, his internal organs shift around and are highly unstable.
Irina’s only hope for Albert is to be able to get him to the United States for this surgery, which will be followed by reconstruction and physiotherapy.
As such, she decided to set up a GoFundMe account, asking for any monetary assistance she can get to make this a reality.
As of right now, she has collected approximately £20,264 of a £55,000 goal. You can donate to Irina’s fundraiser, titled “Help Albert Always Smile”, here.