Ayla Summer Mucha, an infant who was born in December, has become a TikTok star after her parents began using the platform to raise awareness for her condition in which she was born with a “permanent smile.”
Cristina Vercher, 21, and Blaize Mucha, 20, were thrilled to meet their newborn, but were given the surprising news that Ayla’s mouth was not “normal.” The newborn had developed bilateral m͟a͟c͟r͟o͟s͟t͟o͟m͟i͟a͟, an ultra-rare condition where the corners of the mouth do not fuse together properly while in the womb.
This severely affects the aesthetics and function of the oral cavity. Due to this condition, the baby has got a permanent smile on her face and made her a social media star. Her mother shared several images of the baby on Instagram. Cristina Vercher and Blaize Mucha were given the news by the doctors in Australia as they said that Ayla developed this condition in the womb.
Ms Vercher, while speaking to us said, “Blaize and I were not aware of this condition nor had I ever met someone born with a m͟a͟c͟r͟o͟s͟t͟o͟m͟i͟a͟. So it came as a huge shock.”
A comparative study published in Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal in 2007 noted just 14 cases. While it’s possible that occurrences could have risen since, the condition is still so rare that it was the first time the doctor at Flinders Medical Centre had ever seen it.
Macrostomia, though, is more than just a cosmetic abnormality — it can affect how infants function, especially with latching and suckling. Because of the impact it has on facial functionality, patients with macrostomia are often told to get surgery.
“We are yet to receive the exact specifications of the surgery, yet we know this involves a skin closure that results in minimal scarring,” Vercher said. “The challenges we will face post surgery are worrying as a couple.”
They were reassured by an array of doctors that it was out of their control as parents and not their fault as they waited for genetic testing to be completed.
Sharing an adorable picture of the baby, she wrote, “My Darling Lala. Better late then never. Running 2 days behind at all times… Almost out of her premmie suits.” This has melted hearts all across social media. Have a look at the picture: