A baby born with a rare condition making it seem as though she has a permanent smile is putting grins on the faces of millions of strangers online.
Ayla Summer Mucha was born in December 2021 with bilateral macrostomia, where the corners of the mouth don’t fuse together during pregnancy.
Only 14 cases around the world have been reported with the condition.
Parents Cristina Vercher, 21, and her husband Blaize Mucha, 20, are currently talking to doctors over surgery to fix her wide smile as she may not be able to latch or suckle.
In a search for more information and to raise awareness, the parents started a TikTok account to share their experiences.
Cristina said: “All I could think about as a mother was where I went wrong, especially when I had been so pedantic throughout my entire pregnancy.
“Yet, her father and I had been reassured by multiple doctors after days of genetic testing and scans that this condition was entirely out of our control and was of no fault of our own.
“A caesarean is an uncomfortable experience as it is, as you know the doctors will show you the baby once it has been removed from the uterus.
“We were instantly worried. Blaize and I were not aware of this condition nor had I ever met someone born with a macrostomia so it came as a huge shock.”
“We are yet to receive the exact specifications of the surgery, yet we know this involves a skin closure that results in minimal scarring.
“The challenges we will face post surgery are worrying as a couple.”
For medical reasons, patients with Alya’s condition are advised to have surgery to help ensure they have a functioning mouth as they grow older.
Doctors at the Flinder’s Medical Centre in Adelaide, South Australia, were initially baffled as they had not seen a case before and it had been missed in scans ahead of the birth.
One clip of the mum dressing her daughter received more than 46 million views on their social media page, with users flooding the comments section with support.
Cristina added: “Social media is a divided place. You can’t control the personalities of other people unfortunately.
“Yet Blaize and I have received just as much love and support as negative comments.
“I am thankful we left the video posted as I have spoken to a number of mothers going through similar experiences.
“We will not stop sharing our experiences and favorite memories as we are so proud.”