A mother who gave birth to one black and one albino twin has revealed her shock at first seeing them – and initially believed she had been brought the wrong baby. Judith Nwokocha, 38, a Nigerian-born photographer from Calgary, was astonished when she first met her baby boy, Kamsi, who was black, and her little girl Kachi, who was later diagnosed with albinism.
She and her husband, who is also black, struggled for eight years before falling pregnant through IVF, and now find that people don’t believe the twins, now three, are theirs because of their different skin colours. Yet the siblings ‘haven’t noticed anything different’, the doting parent claimed, and have a ‘great’ relationship.
Albinism is an inherited condition and if both parents carry the faulty gene, then there is a one in four chance that their child will be born with the condition, which affected Kachi, but not her twin brother. There are no figures available for how many sets of twins are born where only one has albinism, although other cases have been reported in The Netherlands and Mozambique.
Other cases have been reported where twins are born of different races, but these figures refer to pregnancies of mixed race couples where the egg and spe-rm that fuse contain gene coding for one skin colour – and the chances are one in a million.
‘Most people don’t believe they’re twins,’ Judith said. ‘It’s also [Kachi’s] hair texture that confuses them. Someone has asked me, “Where are her parents?”. ‘I can see the look of shock in their faces when I tell them I’m her mother.’ Yet Judith insisted that she has never had any bad comments about the twins’ different skin colour, explaining: ‘I haven’t had any negative reaction from anyone, they always tell me she is beautiful.’ Shortly after discovering she was pregnant, Judith was told the twins might be born with Down syndrome, with Kachi always behind her brother in terms of growth.
She said: ‘I remember going for my first scan when they told me, “You are having a baby”, and I said, “No, I’m having two.” I knew, without a doubt. ‘The second scan revealed we were having twins. I was told the twins might have Down Syndrome. At seven weeks, Kachi was always behind.’ ‘She was very small, she stopped growing. I remember the doctors telling me she might not make it. I’m so grateful she did.’
Judith added: ‘She didn’t cry initially, so I was thinking, “What’s going to happen, how is she going to be?”‘ In a personal essay for Love What Matters, Judith explained that when the twins were born, ‘Kamsi came first at 9:44 p.m., and then Kachi at 9:45 p.m’, revealing that her daughter weighed just 3.5lbs – almost half the weight of her 6.1lb twin brother. But the newborn girl’s weight was not the only thing that surprised her mother.
‘I was shocked,’ Judith said of the moment she held Kamsi for the first time. ‘I thought they had handed me somebody else’s baby, I didn’t believe she was mine.
‘It never crossed my mind I was going to have an albino baby, we don’t have any in my family, nor my husband’s family. ‘It was a real shock for me, I was thinking, “What are they doing, why did they give me someone else’s baby?” ‘And then I thought, “Could it be I got somebody else’s?” But I was just glad she was perfect. Both were healthy. Judith added: ‘Other than the fact that she is different colour, she looks exactly like me.’ Because of her weight, Kachi had to stay in the ICU for several days, and it was then that doctors explained to Judith that her daughter had albinism.
Kachi was diagnosed with Oculocutaneous Albinism (OCA) type 2 – an inherited condition where people do not produce sufficient melanin and this affects their eyes, skin and hair. It is an inherited condition and if both parents carry the faulty gene, then there is a one in four chance that their child will be born with the condition. Judith said she was initially concerned for Kachi and how people would react to her, writing in her Love What Matters essay: ‘I loved my princess like every mother would love her baby, but worried about her condition.
‘Gradually, worry turned to sadness and I started questioning God, wondering why He would put me in such a situation. I worried about her future, how society would treat her, how she’ll be accepted… ‘I envied other black babies and thought, “Why me? Why was I the one to have an albino baby? How did I get black and white twins?”‘ She added that her husband was also ‘in denial’ about their daughter’s condition, and revealed that the couple chose to go to counselling in order to get advice on how to cope with Kachi’s albinism.
Although she says the sadness and worry ‘didn’t go away easily until the twins turned one’, Judith eventually learned to see past any negativity about her daughter’s condition, even after she was told when the twins were three months old that her daughter would be visually impaired for the rest of her life.
‘Gradually I began to see my daughter differently,’ Judith wrote.
‘I began to see the beauty in her condition. I began to admire her gold hair, her brown eyes, her pink lips and everything about her. ‘I noticed how attractive she was to people whenever I took them out. People admired her a lot and she is usually the one who gets all the attention.’ Yet apart from sensitive skin and eyesight, the little one is perfectly healthy and although she turns a few heads when they’re out and about, Judith doesn’t let that get her down.
Judith said: ‘It took me a while to realise I’m going to be raising an albino. I was really concerned about what people were going to say, it’s not a very usual thing to have an albino and a black baby. ‘I was also sad, I was worried about how she’s going to go through society, how people are going to treat her. It didn’t affect my affection or love at all of course.’ She added in her essay: ‘Today, my daughter is three years old [and] her personality amazes me.
‘Most times I stare at her, knowing how long it took for her to come into my life, the odds she’s been through and already conquered. She’s so smart and has a strong personality. She knows what she wants and will always go for it. ‘I always tell her how beautiful she is, because she really is.
I wouldn’t trade her condition for a million dollars because she’s perfect to me in every way. Albinism may have its challenges but I’m teaching her to be strong and conquer whatever may come her way.’
This is how people reacted to this post:
Justin Flack – It doesn’t matter who black or white. Everybody is. Fine the way they are.
Edie Gerardo – They Are Beautiful God Created Beauty In Every Person He Made No One Is More Precious Than His Children And As We Get Older We Become More Beautiful Through The Eye’s Of God, Our Family And Friend’s Amen
Kiara Gamer – I swear people with be bull-ying her when she grows up and says she isnt black and she’s adopted
Mary Hocking – You can see right off that she’s an albino….so why people don’t believe you’re her mom is beyond me… she’s beautiful and her brother is handsome… adorable children….God Bless!!
This Article Was First Published on dailymail.co.uk